It’s been a very rough day. Maybe because I’m leaving tomorrow and I’m just not in the mood for anything but I found it harder to roll with the punches than it normally is. Being an ALT, I’ve learned more about myself and one of my strengths is that I’m good at communicating and talking to people. I like joking around and my Japanese makes it possible to kid around with my younger students, making classes more enjoyable and casual. Today, not so much. It didn’t help that I was with a class that was rough last year and is just as loud this year. With no TV or CD to work with (half of my lesson) I decided to wing it and play a mystery game using basic greetings. I should have forseen this but I didn’t. What started out as English practice collapsed into a lot of screaming, running, shaking, and laughing. I want the kids to have a good time in English so if they get a little excited, I gently reel it in and they usually calm down. That didn’t work today so when the game ended and the kids wanted me to play again, the teacher shot me a tentative look that basically read ‘for the love of God don’t you dare say yes’. The kids couldn’t have cared less about the next part of the lesson and instead were too busy making weird sounds with their mouths and moaning about how they didn’t get the rules of the game even though we’ve played it multiple times before.
During lunch they told me they want me to be their teacher for the whole day. As much as I appreciate the sentiment, no doubt in their 10 year old minds me teaching them for the day is the equivalent of a half day of school or a really long fire drill i.e. maybe you learn something but mostly nothing gets done. I’m both flattered and discouraged at the same time.
Games and strategies I’ve tried at other schools that work just don’t seem to engage these kids. When I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of teaching at other schools, going to this school reverses all of that and makes me feel incompetent and like I’m wasting everyone’s time with my feeble attempts to make English fun. This class will be my challenge for the rest of the time I’m on JET as they move up together at elementary school. I’m going to find something that clicks for them