Yesterday was perfect.
I have had so many bad days leading up to that one, that I almost couldn’t believe how well the day went. Everything was perfect. I woke up and started off to school, and the postman was waiting outside for me to sign for a concert ticket I had ordered. The ticket is for Matsushita Yuya, one of my favorite solo artists in Japan, and I’ve seen him in Kyoto but this year he is coming to Fukuoka for Christmas Eve, giving me something massive to look forward to. They are standing room only, so you get a number and they let you enter in order. My order number is REALLY good so I’m excited to seeing him up close again.
Then I went to school and had a really good first period class. I was able to work on lesson plans on my downtime and I got activities ready so I could fax them to one of my schools that has been extremely demanding. Basically, I am humoring them because they get on my nerves, but I will get to that later.
After some lesson planning, we had one last class for the day in which the student teacher gave her final lesson and she was evaluated for it. She was extremely prepared, and usually this batch of students are rowdy and extremely violent, but they actually paid attention in class and worked hard (probably because 6 teachers and a principal were staring at them).
We taught the phrase, “When is your birthday?” and the students asked me and I told them, and after class, one student told me his brother’s birthday is the same day as mine. This was really exciting because a) he said it in English and b) he’s probably never talked to me before, and it really put a smile on my face. Those are the moments I work hard for.
After all of that, I went to one of my elementary schools to have a meeting with the principal. He speaks English extremely well and has many many years of experiences dealing with JETs and teachers, so my supervisor asked him to let me vent about my problems I have been having in some of my schools. We sat down and before I was even properly in my seat, he told me to spill and not to hold back.
I told him about how I have 40 something teachers and they all tell me different things in terms of how I’m allowed to do things, use resources, teach, etc. And about how I get yelled at by two people in particular at one school so I had an extremely hard day last week when I went there. He let me vent about JET problems, about how teachers don’t know how to properly utilize me in class, and so on. He agreed with me about most things and we came up with a solution: a monthly meeting for me and the teachers I work with so that we can agree on one teaching method for all of us. Otherwise, it is too complicated for me to be the butt of everyone’s frustration.
I left there grinning and I already think of him as my Japanese grandfather. He’s a heck of a lot better than my real one, I can tell you that.
So when I got home I got to talk to a lot of people, some of whom I will see today when I get to Kyoto, and I planned for my trips. I decided to spend winter break, including New Year’s, in Hong Kong this year! My friend, a fellow JET, is going with me, and she knows all the good places to go. I have always wanted to see Hong Kong, and New Year’s seems like the perfect time to go.
I synced my Scrivener app and got out the last chapter I was working on, so I should be able to write a little bit before bed tonight.
I hope everyone had a great Halloween, and I hope you have a good weekend, as well.