The Joys of ES

(Originally written: September 11, 2013)

Today was a great day(!).

I visited my Elementary School today. I arrived bright and early at 7:45am to a chorus of what looked to be some Grade 6s and my school’s Principal standing on the outside steps, shouting おはようございま~す! (“good morning”) at anything that moved. What a way to start the day!

My first class wasn’t until 9:30am, so I relaxed in the teacher’s room and studied some Japanese. I had the Grade 2s first. We played Rock-Paper-Scissors (although in a kind of odd way from what I’m used to… but at least the children got it!) and then did an activity where they learned different bugs. It was pretty fun! After recess, it was time for my lesson with the Grade 1s. Now, that was FUN. We played Rock-Paper-Scissors, too, except the Grade 1s weren’t afraid of me and didn’t run away from me, so I played with several of them. The activity where we learned different modes of transportation (car/bike/train, etc.) went really well, too! They were so sweet. It really made me miss my dance kids back home. </3

After, I had a break for one period, so I studied some more Japanese, and then it was time to eat school lunch with the Grade 1s! In case I haven’t already described it (or in case you missed it), in Japan, the students serve each other school lunch. When it’s your day to serve, you put on a white coat, a hat, and a mask. Now, imagine 6 year olds dressed up like this. THE CUTEST. Oh man.

japanese lunch

Now, imagine seven of them in an assembly-line type thing, while the other Grade 1s make you cut in front of them to make sure that you get a good spot in line. Cute all cute!

They talked at me in rapid-fire Japanese and I tried to understand as much as I could and reply in a weird pidgin language of English and Japanese. (I felt like Marlin in Finding Nemo when Squirt, the turtle, is telling Marlin and Dory about how to exit the EAC.) Next thing I knew, the Vice Principal showed up and told me that the Grade 5s and 6s had some questions to ask me. Okay! I went to a meeting room where 30+ students were standing in a straight line, waiting for their turn to talk to me. I felt like a celebrity! The Vice Principal took pictures of us the whole time. I spent probably 20 minutes talking with the kids one by one. It may not sound like it, but it was so much fun! The kids had pretty good English, too!

My day done, I went back to the teacher’s room and studied a bit more before leaving to go back to my base junior high school where I had to meet with a teacher at 4pm. As I was leaving my elementary school, the Vice Principal told me that I don’t have to show up until 8:30am – sleeping in for a whole extra hour on my ES visit days?! Yahoo! My meeting at my junior high went really well, which improved my mood even more. Then, as I was walking home, I caught up to a large group of Grade 9 boys who were walking the same way. A few of them started talking with me in English, and before I knew it, we had had a 20 minute conversation. I was so proud!

Things are going way too well lately, so I’m expecting things to start going downhill eventually, BUT, when they do, I want someone to remind me of days like today. <3

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