So for this first week, I had to give a self-introduction lesson to all the first-year high school students (the equivalent of American tenth-graders.) By Friday, I'll have done more or less the same lesson nine times. (Remember Ferris Bueller? "Nine times?" "Nine times.") The benefit is that it allows me to get a strong sense of what works and what doesn't, but it also means the first class' students are guinea pigs and the last are TOTALLY LUCKY because by then my lesson is PERFECTION.
I structured the lesson as a Q&A session, putting the students in groups and having them come up with questions to ask me. Please enjoy a sampling of their work:
- How many dates do you go on in a week?
- How long is your skirt? (I really didn't understand this one, since the length of my skirt was visible to everyone.)
- Do you love me?
- Who is the most handsome in the class?
- Has anyone told you that you look like Hermione from Harry Potter? (I have been asked this, seriously, in EVERY class. I have no idea.)
- Is your hair natural?
So, pretty adorable so far. The cutest thing, though, happened outside of class. In Japan, high school students have a brief period every day in which they are expected to clean the school. (Imagine a school proposing this in America: can't you just hear the outraged screams of the parents already?) Today, three girls approached me and asked if I knew where the Language Lab is. I do, but I let them lead me there because they clearly wanted me to go with them. I followed them into the room to see no less than thirty third-year girls excitedly waiting for me. I made small talk with them for a bit until one girl with excellent English, who was clearly the planner of this event, asked me if I would come every day.
"Sure," I said.
"Tomodatchi!!!!" she cried, (it means friends) and everyone started clapping.
Though the difficulty of getting through each day through a combination of the slowest spoken English possible, excessive smiling, frantic flipping through Japanese dictionaries, and mime has been challenging to the point of making my eyes twitch involuntarily (yes, really), if moments this hilarious keep happening, I'm going to love teaching in Japan.
Oh, and I've trained more or less the entire school to yell "Peace out!" at me whenever I leave a classroom.