Saturday, October 8, 2011

Malia Earns her Flight Wings (Desk Apple)

I think the previous teacher wrote "Bai Bai" Actually...
And then the little black marker was a student writing...
Then I wrote (Heart) you too!

I must say, before I left the U.S. I was pondering what other jobs might be open to a Japanese speaking person with a lot of people-experience through teaching. One job I considered was Japanese speaking flight attendant for Delta. That may have been exciting, but I decided I would rather have something a little more settled that would still allow me to be in touch with Japan and seeing the world (or Japan, at least) rather than just the world's airports in the world's biggest cities.

I'm very happy with my decision.

My work started at long last, just over one week ago. (Although I came to Japan 3 weeks ago) So far so good. Funds are tight but the necessities of life are pretty affordable. I should be able to start saving in no time if I stop train-traveling around, which I find is my biggest expense.

I work at a casual small-business language school, not a chain or corporation. I'm not an ALT. So my experience is different than other bloggers out there. I'm very happy. Of course, no place is perfect, but I've found myself an excellent fit. I get to see all ages and all personalities, every one of my students is so different- there is never a dull moment at my school. I'm on my feet all day. I don't get the vacations of ALTs, or the down time in the teacher's room... And even though although maybe one day I would still like the immersion into a Japanese school, but for now I am ever grateful to my school and to the city I'm living in. It was good to me in high school when I was an exchange student and it is good to me now when I am working-same city! I'm going out with one of my host family's tonight. Their ages are very close to mine... maybe 10 years old. Only 5-7 years older than my husband. We're in the same age group. Even though I'm ineikaiwa it's not corporate. Like I said, it's a small business and exchanges with my boss and co-workers are warm. We're paid fairly and it's good to be working with happy people.

For the first week I was training under the teacher who's leaving. Since I have experience with returnee students, middle, high, college, and adult students I was able to start out in those classes on my own from the beginning. All they require is patience and skill in moving from subject to subject and keeping the students talking (and knowing when to nix the Teacher Talking Time... because Teacher already knows English ;) ) All that ended yesterday when I took the reigns and did six classes or so... all age ranges. It was just fine. First week was a lot of planning and going to school early and staying late, but I think I've more or less got the hang of it. Just need to expand my repetoire of games for the kiddos. Usually we spend the last 5 minutes of our classes playing a game to leave them with a positive memory of English class.

Anyway, one of my little girls wrote "Bai bai" to the last teacher and "Malia-Teacher" on the white board in front of our school. It was a d'aww moment and my first little kiddo note about me. The picture is in the blog.


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