Today. Finally. I conquered my fear. My fear of jump roping.
Let me start of by saying today was pretty normal until my class before lunch. I walked in knowing they were going to cause trouble, because there are a few kids in there who are loud, but usually they don’t do much other than make obnoxious comments, so I wasn’t too worried.
Well the beginning was ok, but when we started our karuta game, some kids didn’t want to play and sat down, glaring at me or rolling their eyes when I told them to please participate, and some kids tried to get out of playing by taking my stuff, trying to “help” me put the cards I called on the board, and all that jazz.
These were minor annoyances, but then one boy started yelling and taking all the cards, some girls weren’t listening and were talking in a corner, a girl started getting really upset, and later cried, because they weren’t playing by the rules, and NO ONE was listening to me. Which is kind of problematic when it’s a listening game.
So I told them all to stop and sit down. Then they stared at me for a little bit, so I asked, in Japanese (something I never do… I use 100% English in my classes, but I needed them to understand my every word for this) if it was ok if I went back [home]. One girl was like NO but for the most part, they all stared at me like, “Woah. She means business.” The thing is that they knew they were being crazy and rude and it’s not okay for them to act that way in any other class, so I was mad that I spent all this time making a fun lesson for them and then they ruined it by not paying attention.
So I asked again, “Do you want me to play or do you want me to leave?”
Then the teacher, who wasn’t the actual teacher, she was just filling in for some reason (because the teacher was there today, so this confused me) started giving them a talk about how you have to pay attention and do class in a respectable manner in order to learn and have fun. She told them things like, “How would you feel if you were Monica right now?” and they looked at me and my face was hot and I actually had a tear slip down my cheek, and the kid who made the girl cry looked at me like he was really shocked that I, who am usually all happy and whatnot, would get upset. I was slightly embarrassed, but at the same time, it was a good lesson for them that adults have feelings, too, and teachers get upset when things don’t go their way, just like students do. But in Japan, teachers are some of the most respected people there are. Most of the kids had been goofing off or got mad because everyone was breaking the rules, but once I got mad, they knew it was time to quit.
Enough of that. She made them apologize to me, and they gave me high fives as I left so we could end on a semi-good note, and I checked on the girl who was crying, and another girl was crying because I had been upset, which was really sweet because it meant she didn’t want my feelings to be hurt.
Anyway, I went to lunch and once I finished eating, I was sitting in the teachers room, which looks out on the courtyard. I was bored and thought about going to play with the kids, but I was nervous because even though I’m an adult, whenever I want to play with the kids and they just stare at me I get scared and run away haha. But today that class that was crazy was outside playing jump rope. The kind where two people turn the rope and everyone jumps in once and then runs out again in succession. They were making figure eights, doing spins, and it looked really fun.
Except, I’ve never been able to jump into a turning jump rope before, and I’ve always been too afraid to try. But I really wanted my students to have a positive memory with me to wipe away seeing me mad at them in class.
So when a few of them let me go in front of them in line, I tried. I didn’t do it right the first few times, but then I got it, and I was freaking out. The girl next to me gave me a high five and was so excited with me. I was so happy, and me and the other teachers jumped rope with the kids for about 40 minutes. Another teacher I hadn’t even met asked me to join his class to meet his students, who are fourth graders, so I will have those students next year in my English class. It was so much fun and I got a lot of exercise, and I made good friends with my students and teachers.
I’m proud of myself for being brave today, and I felt like more of a teacher. Tomorrow is Friday and I have a light class load, and I wrote my 1667+ words for the day. Tomorrow I can stay up later writing and watching movies and tv, and this weekend I’m planning on staying in to write and clean.
Word count total for NaNoWriMo: 23,345
Total words so far: 81,959