Oct. 12th, 2010 04:33 pm
frellnik: (Default)
The BOE came to watch me teach today. Both Takahama Sensei and Kodama came. They were all dressed up in suits and had their clip boards and took notes on what I was doing.  I taught grade 3's today and we did "What's this? and What's that?"  We played What's this? Bingo and What's That Shouting game.  The kids had a good time and used the target sentences quite a bit.  Kodama Sensei told me later that I did very well and that she was impressed with how I taught the class.  So that makes me very happy!!

I came to school sick this morning because I knew that the BOE was coming to watch today.  Kondo sensei told me before school started that I could go home after the BOE came.  He reminded me twice that it was ok to go home. lol  Then at lunch time he said I looked terrible and should go home. But I still had two classes to teach and I didn't want to go home without teaching them because then I would be behind with 2 classes.  That would suck for lesson planning.  So I asked if I could combine the last two classes and teach them both 5th periode. He checked and told me that was fine.  

So after teaching the last class, which ended at 2:15, I filled out the paper work to go home sick.  I got home just before 3 today.  I hope things go better.

So today I'm going to take it easy. I have company coming tonight in about 3 hours and I need to straighten up my living room a bit, but otherwise I'm not doing anything today. I'm also going to be in bed by 9 tonight.  I'm tired :(

The other thing that sucks about being sick is that in Japan when you are sick you have to wear a mask in order to keep your germs to yourself.  So...I wore a mask all day to cover my mouth (not my nose or I coudln't see 'cause my glasses would fog up) and I coughed a lot and had to blow my nose a lot...and those little masks get wet...and ewwwww.  

I really hope I won't need on tomorrow.  Tomorrow I'm teaching 6th grade.  We will be doing daily routines.  Get up, eat breakfast, brush my teeth, go to school, do homework, play with friends, eat dinner, go to bed....  Should be interesting.
frellnik: (Default)
I've caught a cold or something.  I didn' t feel great yesterday (Monday) - even took a nap after waking up around lunch and felt cold without the blanket at 25C. Managed to eat dinner and went to bed around 8:30 but didn't get to sleep until 10ish.  I woke up at 1:20 with a sore throat. So I popped a fishermen's friend in my mouth and tried to go back to sleep. Sleep wasn't happening so I turned on some music and listened to that until 3ish.  Then I slept until 5:45 and got up for school.
I was tired.

I had a stomach ache by the time I finished breakfast but thankfully it didn't last long.  Tooke some advil and a contac Cold and Flu and went to school.

Went to the 7/11 on the way to school and bought the little candies that have Vitimin C in them... of course they only had lemon flavoured. LOL  I hate lemon!  But these aren't too bad. It's not a strong taste.  Also they have 3000 mg of VC in eat little candy! talk about an overdose! 

I got to school and was told that I would be teaching 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th periods.  So I arrived at 7:30 and didn't have to teach until 10:30! Wow, I could have stayed in bed...or not. they would have called me to see where I was.  but still.  That's over 2 hours with nothing to do but read.  So I finally remembered to ask the VP what to do when I'm sick.  He said to call him. So I asked for the number. lol.  Now I'm glad I asked.  

I filled out my travel forms so that I can to to Tokyo for Christmas.  They wanted contact #s in case of emergency. They want to know when I'm leaving Iwaki, when I'm arriving at my destination, where I'll be staying, when I will get back to Iwaki City, etc.   I had to fill out 2 different forms: 1 for permission to go and one for all the details. I was only going for 2 or 3 days it wouldn't be necessary to fill out all the forms, but since I'll be gone for about a week....yeah.

I downloaded the new(ish) album from 30 Seconds to Mars (This is War) and I love it!!!  IT's a freat album! On a related note, I really want to see that owl movie...The Legendary Guardians of Gould? or something like that. I t looks awesome. I hope it comes out in Japan or someone will have to buy it and mail it to me!

On a sad note...there is no video rental store in Izumi...I have to go to Ueda or Taira by train to rent a movie. Ueda is closer.
frellnik: (Default)
Yesterday I learned to always have fun songs on hand to sing as back up in the Izumi class. The Izumi clas has about 12 students from gr.1 through 6. They are students with special needs.
Yesterday I taught the grade 5s and the Izumi class. We focussed on Food.  So for the Izumi class I mostly focussed on vocabulary since Grammar is a bit beyond the younger kids.

I started the class with a song (The pizza hut song) and we sang it 4 times and then tried it getting faster and until it was too fast.
After singing we did vocab. I had 13 cards and I got the kids to repeat the words after me and then I asked them to tell me what each one is in Japanese and then to tell me in English again.  Then we played the key-word game.  I choose a key-word, a word we've practiced today, and they kids repeated after me and when I said the key word they kids had to be the first to grab the eraser off the desk.    We played about 6 rounds but the youngest kids weren't winning much and they were getting frustrated so I figured it was time to do something else.

So I sang another song with them - a clapping song.  The title is "it's not hard I tell you so".  We started out really slow and went through each clapping pattern a few times to make sure the kids got it.  Then we sang the song about 4 times and each time was a little faster than the last.

At the end of class we went over the new vocab words again one last time.  It was different from my normal classes. I think these kids are going to learn a lot of songs!  Does anyone have any tips for teaching kids with disabilites? Most of my lessons are foccused mostly on vocab with games and songs.  It's also difficult because the kids are all different ages and grades.

My other classes yesterday went great as well.  I had to move one of my clsses up because I had to leave school at noon to go to Taira for meetings at the BOE.  My last class was scheduled to finish at 12:25 and I had to catch the 12:50 train which would have been cutting it really close.  

I caught the 12:50 train to Taira and ended up in the sam car as the JETs from Ueda.  We were told at the meeting that all the Junior High ALTs will be able to come back next year but that 7 elementary school ALTs will be cut due to budget cuts.  School visits by the BOE will start next week.  They will be looking to see how our classes go and how well we are liked at the schools. From that they are going to try and figure out which ALTs to ask back next year.  So I'll do my best and hope that I get picked to stay next year.

After the BOE meeting a bunch of us went to Candi's place for a potluck dinner party.  There were about 14 of us in total throughout the evening.  It was a lot of fun. We went to the grand opening of a new pet shop that opened up right next to Candi's apartment building.  I got to hold a baby short haired rabbit. It was so cute! It fit in the palm of my hand.  Then Candi asked me if I could interpret for her and help her buy a baby bird.  (I forget which kind...but it can learn to talk, it's white with yellow feathers..and this one is an albino so it has red eyes.)

So I spent about 30 minutes asking questions for her and relating the info back to her and she picked her baby up from the shop sometime today. IT's adorable.  It's only a month old which is too young to know what sex it is.. I got to hold it and use my fingers as a ladder and it alked around on my sholders.  The bird is so young that it has to be fed with a syringe .  Add warm water to the bird seed to make a paste and use the syringe to feed it to the bird.  It also has a little nest with a "lid" that he has to stay in unless Candi is playing with it or feeding it.    She has to feed it 3 times a day four hours apart and since she has to work all day, she has to feed it at night and have it sleep all day.  So she has to geed it at 5pm, 9pm and 1am, for the next two weeks. Then she can get a cage for it and start feeding it regular food.  And she's going to teach it to talk.

I feel very accomplished as I was able to help with all the info she needed to take care of the bird. It was awesome!

I hung out at Candi's place with everyone until about 8:20 when I headed out for the 25 minute walk to the train station. I caught the 8:50 train home to Izumi. Then I watched Armageddon in Japanese (it was on tv) and I cried again.  

Today I spent the morning chatting with friends in Ottawa (ended up spending almost 2 and a half hours on the phone with Matt) and to [ profile] ninja007 and then I went shopping. Found some plastic drawers to keep all my papers in.  On the way home I stopped to play jump rope with some of the kids from school. Their mom came to join us and we talked for a bit.  She had a bag of mini tomatos that she had just picked from her garden.  I ended up taking them home with me. lol  They look really good.

I spent the evening sorting all the papers I had accumulated and put quite a bit into one of the drawers...tomorrow I'm going to clean the floors, and maybe the shower...then I'm going to do the rest of my laundry.  But first, I'll be calling my mom and Kirstin.  Can't wait to say hi to people I miss!

I'm enjoying my 3 day weekend! 

frellnik: (Default)
Yesterday I woke up and it was a beautiful 21C. I slept without the AC that night and last night too! My apartment stayed at 24 degrese even with the windows shut! It was supposed to rain yesterday and today...but it didn't. Not a cloud in the sky. But it has stayed cool and not humid which is really nice and I feel much better now.  I taught grade 6 yesterday. I used my first period spare to get my teaching materials together and plan out how I was going to run the classes. Then I spent the rest of the period writing out my schedule for what grade at what school on what day in my planner so I would know at a glance what I will be doing when. It is hard to keep track because the two schools are at different lessons for the same grades. lol
I even put stickit notes in my curriculum guide (which is divided up by grades) so that I can keep track of whch lesson I taught at which school for each grade.

I ate lunch with one of the grade 1 classes. They are so small!  The stool I sat on was the same height as their desks! Cute!  They had lots of questions for me. I wish I'd get to teach them, but this school's first and second grades don't get English class.

After lunch I had another spare so I printed off an application form for go lloyds so that I can send money home. It will only cost me 2000 yen (about $20) for each money transfer...which is much cheaper than at the bank or post office.

I found out school starts a lot later than I thought after the New Year. Classes start Jan 11. Brings back fond memories of when I was in elemntary school and school would start on the 7th or 8th instead of the 2nd or 3rd that it has the past few years. So I'm happy for the extended vacation!  Also, the Canadian Thanksgiving Day just happens to land on a holiday in Japan.  I'll have to check with the other Canadians in Iwaki and see if they want to do a Thanksgiving Dinner on Oct. 11.

So yesterday went really well. The kids all had fun and I got to give out a few stickers.  We played the key-word game and fruit basket and a bit of pair work for conversation.  The lesson was about buildings and places in the city.  "Where is the...." "I'll show you" "Thank you" "Your welcome"
I was fun.

Today I got to school all set to teach my self-intro to the 4 different grade 3 classes only to find out that instead I'm only teaching 2 periods because they've doubled up the classes to give time to have an extra Japanese class. that means I have a LOT of free time.  So I taught 1st period and 5th period. And as it turns out...on Fridays, 5th period is before lunch.  So I spent a lot of today reading and studying.  

You know, for the amount of money they are paying me...I really don't do much. I did more work when I was in University. I really have nothing to complain about, but sometimes I wish I had a bit more to do. Yesterday I had things to do and I was busy for most of the day. I think I ended up with about 30 minutes of free I guess today made up for that. lol

I went to the post office after school today to mail a letter to a friend in Ottawa. It only cost me 110 yen ($1.10). I was told it should take a week or so to get there.  That's really cheap because the same size mail got to me earlier this week and the postage was $2 from the same person I'm sending my letter to.  Amazing how expensive Canada post is compared to Japanese post. lol  

At 2pm, all the kids when home. I could here kids calling my name...or more precisely, English Teacher. So when I went to the dor there was a group of kids waiting to bye to me...which led to high fives...which let to a mass of kids waiting for individual high fives and goodbyes! Sometimes I feel like a celebrity... this was one of those times. Not to mention the hand made gifts that the kids keep giving me out of the blue. 

It's only been 3 weeks but I really like my job.


Sep. 8th, 2010 06:46 pm
frellnik: (Default)
This morning I woke up to a heavy down pour! I was so happy! It was 27C this morning and when I got home from school my apartment was (and still is) 24.5C!! The only way i've been able to get my apartment that cool has been to turn on the AC for a few hours!  Now it's just naturally cool! I love it!!! Yesterday was a scorcher! It was 37C plus humidex! And today it's nice and cool.  There is a typhoon (#9) hitting Fukushima and that's why it's raining. But thankfully it is missing Iwaki. T's going to rain right through Saturday.  So we have rain, but not the high winds or storms.  I can live with that!  It's going to be cool for the next 3 days and then its going to get hot again.  I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts!

When I got to school this morning one of the teachers came in behind me while I was putting my music away. As he went by me he said, "Good morning Kasey!"  I said good morning and laughed to myself. I had been told it would happen so I wasn't upset by it, I thought it was kinda funny. It's the first time it's happened.  Kasey was here for 3 years before me and I've taken her place.  About 30 seconds later as he's finished changing his showes, he looked up quickly and started to apologize because he just realized that he called me the wrong name. He used my name that time so I would know that he did know it.  I had to bite back the smile until he was gone. lol

Today was another day of self-introductions. Grade 5s again today.  It turns out that there are only 3 classes for grade 5 and the 4th class is a Special Ed. I was told there would be 4 students...but there were about 10. They ranged from grade 1 through to grade 6.  That was different. FUN! but different. All the kids wanted to tealk non-stop. One boy, in grade one, kept interupting to ask me how to say things in English (whale, magnet, etc). They were a lot of fun!  Questions time was great too. One boy tried 3 times to ask me a question and the first 2 times he didn't actually have a questions. He just wanted to make sure he'd get a chance to ask, so he put his hand up. His homeroom teacher told him to sit back down and think of a questions first.  The third time he had a question ready.

I think that class is going to be a lot of fun to teach.  Izumi seems to be ahead of Izumi Noth in its lessons. But because I started at Izumi North first, Izumi North is catching up.

I had my photo taken for the school yearbook today.
The grade ones finished school at 2 pm today. It's weird watching all the kids go home at different times.  The grade 2s went home at 2:30.

Kasey left me this really awesome umbrella! I walked to school inthe rain this morning with my bad on my back and it was dry when I got to school! That's how big the umbrella is. Usually my backpack would be wet when I get to school. But not today!

Today was another day where I finished teaching by lunch time and then had nothing to do until 4pm.  Lunch finishes at 1pm, so that leaves 3 hours to wander, prepare future lessons, read or study.  

Monday I taught grade 1s and I brought my mascot (Canadian doll) - Arianna - to calss with me. The kids loved her.  When I sat her down on my desk she leaned forward so that her head rested on her feet.  She's top heavy so she either flops forward or backward.  So I made her flop forward and told the kids that she was tired because in Canada it was still yesterday night and she should be sleeping. The kids thought that was neat.

So it's been a good week so far, even better now that it's raining!  Hopefully the rest of the week will be just as good!

Saturday I'm going to the Space Park in Koriyama!! I'm really looking forward to it! YAY!!! Space camp here I come!!!   I just have to get through the next 2 days of classes first! lol
frellnik: (Default)
Hey All,

Thursday and Friday I thaught Gr. 4s. The two schools are at different lessons for the same grade. On Thurssday I was at Izumi North and today I was at Izumi. I liked the classes at Izumi better. Thursdays classes were half good and half bad. 2 classes went really well and the others didn't go so well. I had one class where no one asked me any questions at all after my self-intro and then when I taught the review and started the new lesson the kids just sat there. It was like pulling teeth to get them to participate. Some of the classes ask tons of questions and we run out of time in the class. 

Friday I taught 4 classes back to back. In the first class I did a short self intro and then did a review of the different body parts but focussed on the head. Then we reviewed big and small. After that we played a kind of pictionary game.  The students sit in 6 rows in the classroom so each row was a team.  The kids went up the board and each drew a circle for a face. Then I would call out something like....3 small eyes, and the kids would draw it in the face...after much deliberation of where to put the third eye lol.  I had them draw 1 big mouth, 1 big ear, 2 small noses, 7 big hair, and one small ear.  Some of the kids didn't seem to grasp the big and small concept in relation to parts of the body even though they did ok when I quizzed them about big and small animals. lol  In the end I picked the face that was the best, the closest to what I had asked them to actually draw. There was only one face that was perfect. lol

None of the other classes got to play the game that day, we ended up spending the entire class focussing on my self intro...lots of questions in the other classes and the teachers didn't mind that we didn't get any of the lessons done.

Fridays at Izumi have their own schedule. The kids are done classes by 12:30 and they are done school by 1:30. The rest of the week seems to end at 3:30...although I think the 1st graders leave earlier than that. It seems that every school has its own schedule.  At Izumi North each grade has a different schedule. All classes start at 8:20 but the grade 1s leave at 1:30 on Wednesdays and 2:30 every other day. The grade 2s leave at 2:30 every day, the grade 3s leave at 2:30 most days but on Tues, and Thurs they leave at 3:30, and grades 4-6 leave at 2:30 on Mondays and Fridays and 3:30 the rest of the week.  I think on days that they leave early there are club activities that they can take part in instead of going home.  It isn't unusual for kids to still be hanging around the school at 4pm when I head home for the day.  It's weird.

Yesterday I had lunch with the teachers. We had ramen noodles in a really good soup full of vegetables, and two octopus balls and milk. I was really full when I finished eating. So the lunch that I had brought with me ended up being my dinner instead.  

I taught the kids TGIF. 2 of the classes got it and the other 2 didn't get it at all. lol We'll see if they remember it next week.

One of my favourite shirts stretched. the little ring in the middle that used to be up at my chest is now down around my still looks ok I's just not what I remember it looking like. I don't like it as much this way so I'm a little sad about it. :(  The good thing is that no one here knows what it looked like before so as long as it doesn't get any worse it should be fine.

The sun is setting earlier's 6:15pm and the sun is pretty much down now. And it's now a little after 5 before it comes up in the morning now too. That's good for me! I can sleep a little longer before being woken up.  Now if only it would cool down a bit. It's going to be 35C all week. We don't use humidex factor here but I know we are at about it feels a lot warmer than 35C. It's September! It shouldn't be this hot! THe schools have no's hot.

Today I spent all morning chatting on msn. I downloaded Skype and got a long distance plan that gives me umlimmited calls to Canada for 690 yen a month...that's about $8CAD. But it's under 7 bucks for me with my pay I'm happy. I can call home whenever I want and I can call my friends and chat.  I called home today and talked to Eric for a bit.  Just as we were about to hang up, mom came home, so I talked to mom for a few minutes. Going to call home again tomorrow morning (tonight for mom).

I went to Taira today and I bought a broom. Didn't find a swiffer though so I'll have to look some more for one.  I got a broom and a dust pan, and a little drying rack for my dishes, and I got an ice tray and box.   I got a notebook to practice writing kanji and a package of loose leaf for writing notes and stuff. I also got some detergent and mini packets of tissue/kleenex. It turned out that most public washrooms (at train stations or in a park, ect.) don't have toilet paper in them. You have to have your own.  So everyone carries around those little mini packs of kleenex. So I bought a bag of 6 packets for 138 yen.  Then I bought groceries....Taira is more expensive than Izumi...but there is a lot more selection for I think I'll be splitting my shopping up between the two stores.

So now I need to get an account with Go Lloyds so I can start sending money home.  Then I'm all set...or I will be as soon as I find a swiffer!

frellnik: (Default)
Was awesome!!  Saturday I went grocery shopping and bought a bunch of healthy food!! I got fish,  veggies, thinly sliced beef, Japanese weiners, milk (yes I found milk that I mostly like and can easily drink) and water.  It takes me about an hour to do groceries because i have to bike there and back. 

After shopping I had to shower. I can't wait for it to cool down here and become less humid! I don't even have to move to sweat! lol GROSS!!  I bought these niftly little fever stips that you peel the backing off and stick it to your forhead (or anywhere else you'd like) and it stays cold for up to 10 hours!!! SO NICE!! lol  I love them! THey were on sale so I bought 2 boxes!

Then I went to Yottsukura to meet my friends and go to the beach.  Saturday was the Iwaki Beach Bomb.  So JETs from all across Fukushima prefecture came to Iwaki to join us on the beach!!  We had a big BBQ (or 3 small ones) and people set up tents and we went swimming in the ocean. It was awesome fun!  I didn't sleep at the beach though, I slept at Sam's place.  Got to bed around 2:30am and managed to sleep until 8am.

I got the 10am train home to Izumi and got home just after 10:30 and cleaned up my apartment and waited for the internet guys to come and install my internet. They didn't have to do much because, as I told the guys at the store, my apartment already has the cables for the fibre optics connection.  So it took about 30 minutes for them to check everything and set up the motem.  cost me about $30.    SO now I have internet! YAY!!!

I talked to [ profile] ninja007 for about 5 hours on msn vid chat yesterday and am talking to her again right now!  Oh, how i've missed chatting with her online! lol

I just got home from my first day teaching at Izumi Kita Elementary.  Today went really well.  I taught 4 classes (all 6th grade).  I had 1st and 6th period spares.  I taught about myself and Canada today and in two classes we had extra time so we started the class material that needs to be covered and went over names of city buildings and then played a game.  In two classes the kids had lots of questions to ask me and we ran out of time.    The students all seemed to enjoy my self introduction and I did it mostly in Japanese..I started out in English and the kids didn't understand much so I ended up switching to mostly Japanese.

Tomorrow I teach grade 5 and it will be the same fortmat as today. I'll find out which periods I'm teaching tomrrow when I get there.

All my pirctures are up on facebook for anyone who wants to take a look. you'll have to friend me to see them.
frellnik: (Default)

Hey :)

I'm not going to post much here...I've written out the past few days on my laptop back at my apartment so when I get the internet tomorrow afternoon...and after I figure out how to get it working (fingers crossed) I'll post the last few days worth of posts.

As for today.  I went to my base school to wait for the taxi to come take me to Iwasaki Elementary in Yumoto.  I got there a little after 8am and I spent the day with Lenny and Chelsea.  Basically I went to class with Lenny and watched how he taught his classes. TOday he taught 5th grade (which is the same class and same material I have to teach on Tuesday). So I got to watch him teach the same thing in three different classes.  I also gave a short self introduction in each class.


We had lunch with the VP and a few other teachers and then I went back to my base school by taxi.  WHen I Got to the base school I couldn't find anyone and I could hear music coming from the gym building.  So I went to the gym and there was a shakuhachi performance happening!  I only got to hear the last song, but it was amazing! I loved it!  I've seen a shakuhachi performance once before in Toronto back in April.  I can:t really explain it so you should google it if you don:t know what it is. (sorry, the keys are in different places on this keyboard and I*m too lazy to look for them lol).

After school I went to the park for about 20 minutes and watched some of the kids from my school play baseball. All the kids say hi to me now so it seems that everywhere I go, someone is calling my name! lol
On the up side, none of the kids followed me home today, and there were no kids hiding in the bushes today either. lol  I:ll post about that tomorrow or Monday.

Now I:m at the libarary in Taira killing time until the welcome enkai (all you can eat and drink - alcoholic or not - party) at the Beer Garden.  I also got a phone call last night that my book came in.  I ordered it on Tuesday and they told me it would take 3 or 4 days to come in. It came in last night (Thursday). 

um...I think that's it.  OH!  My rent is a hell of a lot less than I thought it was going to be.  I was told about $250 amonth....I:m paying $183 a month!!  well 18,300 yen and the canadian dollar is down so maybe $200. plus utilities.  so...yay! lol

well I:m off to go read some more of Becoming Connar Davids by race_the_ace. I thought I had saved it all,...but I now I:m reading it at work and at the library., lol  I'm on chapter 12 and I love it!!  If you haven:t read it, give it a try.


frellnik: (Default)

December 2016



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