Yesterday, after the opening ceremony, one of the teachers asked if I could give the new exchange student a tour of the school. I was like, how? No one ever gave *me* a tour of the school. At that point, I only knew how to find the faculty room, the guidance office, and the language lab. (I had to follow the students to locate the gym for the ceremony.)
Today went all right. One of the teachers apparently isn't very comfortable with English, because he kept giving me quiet hints to read things aloud or call on students and ask them for answers, and then he would explain everything in Japanese. Now, I'm accustomed to having the things I say translated into Japanese for the students, but I don't think I've ever before had a team teacher completely unwilling to call on anyone. During one class, when the lesson consisted of a two-page reading marked with vocabulary words, he again told me to ask the students questions. I was stumped. "What questions?" It wasn't a textbook with comprehension questions listed or anything. I asked him to please do one or two questions first, as an example, so that I would have a clue what he wanted. Yet he refused to do even that, he just repeated, "Ask them questions about each sentence." I had to make up what I considered decent comprehension questions and hope that was what I was supposed to be doing.
One of the classes of third-year students only has 11 students, and the team teacher for that one agreed with my suggestion to make sure each student gets a chance to engage in little small talk at the beginning of each class, with feedback given. This is something I did in Matsunoyama when we had a small class, and though the students were embarrassed even to speak at first, by the end of the year they were answering sophisticated questions and holding a conversation for a good period of time. I hope it goes well here. The girls were a bit shy and giggly, but they managed to speak up, and they seemed to have positive attitudes.
The largest class (the ones who are *not* in the 11 student class) consists of 27 students. I will have them five times a week, I believe (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and twice on Friday with two separate teachers). I have been trying to think up activities to enhance the textbook lessons and let them put their English to work. So far what I've come up with is cutting pictures from a magazine (actually, the TV guide, since I buy it anyway) and having them use the lesson's grammar point to describe the picture. We'll see if I can come up with any other methods.
One of the Friday classes is supposedly dedicated to games/songs/movies, while the other is Active Listening. The Active Listening teacher grabbed me just as I was about ready to walk out the door at 5 and asked what we should do for tomorrow's lesson. (Well, at least he asked me in advance...) He had apparently just started them on a new textbook, but it's about Britain, plus he thinks it's boring, so he wanted me to come up with something else for them. I went through my MAC process of asking, "What do you intend for them to be able to do?" to coax out the response that he wants them to be able to state their opinions about things. So I spent about fifteen minutes discussing different potential topics and information/rules that the students might need in order to debate the topics intelligently. He seemed to hope he could talk about it further with me tomorrow, but sorry, my schedule is completely booked. Thus, he's going to have to corner me when I arrive in the morning before classes start.
The English club met today to decide upon what they will be doing for the school's Culture Festival. They will be selling crepes, they decided, and this entails making up tickets that they can sell in advance so they know how many to make. I was asked to go with them to buy the supplies when the time gets closer...at first I was asked to do it on the 19th (a Sunday, which by the way is in the middle of a three-day weekend that I will be spending in Chiba), but I protested that it was a holiday, so it was switched to the 16th or 17th.
Whew. I'm quite ready for the weekend already, and I've only actually worked two days.