The end of March brought about the end to my short time (6 months) in Yoyogi school although bizarrely I was there the following week to cover myself! When I started in October I took on some of the most badly behaved kids I’ve ever experienced but as time went on I’d like to think that I made my mark and added a bit of discipline and routine to lessons.
My hands were also tied in this school as the office on the floor below would complain about any noise made by running or jumping which is understandable on their part but frustrating for me as running games in particular are a major part of my lessons. However, it did teach me that lessons can still be conducted in a more civilised sitting down way which most teachers probably employ but I generally don’t until later ages. This class were very weak with phonics and word recognition which I focused on a lot as well as well as doing a lot of drilling and chanting which they were good at for the most part.
As time went on a few dropped out which was a shame as I felt they were making progress albeit much slower than most other students of their age. They seemed to like me or at least liked the fact that I wore a Star Wars tie, started the lesson with the Star Wars theme and played the Imperial March during certain activities or games. For their last lesson I rewarded those in attendance by dedicating a very small part of the lesson to making a Clone Wars door hanger.
On top of a few leaving that lower elementary class a couple of boys also left from a Junior High school class which was my favourite consisting of three boys who were a great laugh to teach and also talented enough to handle the textbook and the target language that it threw up. However, they were at that age when a lot of kids often leave our schools due to having to go to cram school which is a ridiculous Japanese idea where kids not only do a long day at school but they also do sports or club activities afterwards and then go to this school to study more!
I did enjoy the challenge of teaching the aforementioned elementary kids class as well as a kindergarten class of three year olds who I have featured on this site before in the entry ‘Doing It By The Book’. Ultimately, I was proud of what I achieved with both these groups and hope that they continue to develop with their new teacher.
I only did a few adult classes there and they were no problem at all and I have stayed in touch with some of them. No doubt there will be a couple of more changes this year as the company continue to chop and change things to deal with the recession.