Classroom Japanese: Ayumi

歩み (あゆみ/ayumi) Progress. Walking.

This is a local one, kind of a cute quirk. In my other schools in other prefectures they called it something different, but here in Yokohama my elementary schools call the mid-year progress reports Ayumi. The grade cards all say “Ayumi” on the front. Simple and sort of positive way to say it, really. The semester grade cards came out in October around here, but I think some districts do quarter or trimester terms. What do they call it in your school?

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A Pac-man themed board game for practicing directions.

Normally, the 2nd grade directions lesson for YICA ends in a big ol’ melee game. It’s… kinda hard to pull off. So, after it bombed with one of my troublesome 2nd grade classes this year, I opted to just fall back on an old classic: The board game. This one is Pac-man themed and I did my best to make it as self explanatory as possible because them 7 year olds don’t even care than I’m there, man. 

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Classroom Japanese: Kasou suru

仮装する (かそうする/kasou suru) To disguise oneself, to wear a costume.

Should have put this one up two weeks ago when it was all over the school. What we do at Halloween, the wearing of a costume, is conveyed in Japanese as a disguise. Did you wear a costume this Halloween? 仮装しましたか? It gets a little more normal every year.

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Classroom Japanese: Tenkousei

転校生 (てんこうせい/tenkousei) Transfer student who is transferring out.

転入生 (てんにゅうせい/tennyusei) Transfer student who is transferring in. 

Summer happened and now there’s at least two new kids in every grade, it feels like. It’s cheaper to move in summer. So, it’s not just you. That unfamiliar kid you spotted last month really was new.

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Hi! Friends 2: Lesson 4: Turn right. (ABC)

This lesson is a pretty focused one. I only take three weeks to complete it. The breakdown for those three weeks is very direct. I devote one class period to the places vocabulary. I devote the next class period to directions. And, in the last of the set puts those two things together. Unfortunately, the text book is pretty limiting for this Lesson. The only content they provide is the same map, done two ways. But, you can fudge the boundaries a bit.

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Top 5 Biggest Red Flags in the English Dispatch/ALT Teaching Industry (My own personal shit list!)

Let’s start things out on the right foot: Your employer is not your friend. They are not looking out for you. They do not have your best interests at heart. There. Now we can begin.

I have worked for companies that do all of these things. Some of the pitfalls can be avoided, and I have avoided them. Some of them can’t. If you’re in Japan teaching just a sort of way to see the world and find yourself in your 20’s, then maybe you don’t mind being taken advantage of. If you’re trying to live a life, these red flags become really disruptive. It’s pretty much impossible to find a job in Japan that doesn’t do at least one of these things. The goal, though, is to opt out of as many as you can. Don’t go blindly into the con and get taken for a ride.

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