I wanted to post earlier this week, but I am still working on that one because it is long and tedious. In case you’re curious, the post is all about my past weekend and mostly about books. Lots and lots of books.
I wasn’t going to post anything before that but I just had such a wonderful, eye-opening day today that I had to post something about it.
So today I went to one of my elementary schools and I wasn’t exactly feeling motivated. I hit the snooze button dozens of times. I rolled out of bed and barely made it to work on time. I only had four classes today, which is a really lucky break because most days I have 6 at ES.
I have a wonderful vice principal at the school I was at today. Her English is impeccable, and she is always excited to see everyone. Since I’m always the one doing the lesson on my own, and especially since I have been exhausted and not feeling very effective as a teacher lately, I asked her to help me with my first few lessons today.
What a difference it made. She is just so charismatic and vibrant, yet she knows when to put her foot down and make the students listen. She tells the students over and over again that it’s good to make mistakes and even if you make mistakes, that’s better than sitting there fiddling your thumbs. I really love her teaching philosophy, and she gave me great tips on how to run the classroom, work with my fellow teachers, and how to handle behavior and misunderstandings. I could have done my lessons alone, but it was just so nice to be able to work with her because it gave me a new perspective.
I haven’t ever really had people to look up to in life. I never really looked at someone and said, “I want to be just like them!” and I’m not sure why. But I know I want to implement the things my VP taught me today. Finally I feel as though I am getting somewhere in my progress as a teacher. I think having ‘competition’ or someone to look up to or aspire to means I’ve really gotten to a good place in my life. Even though… no, perhaps because I am at a really stressful time in my life right now, I can learn to grow by looking to the people around me and taking little bits of them and adapting them to fit me. Lately, competitiveness has been making me feel worse about myself. I look to people I think are doing well for themselves and feel bad about myself in return. But after today, I’ve realized that I need to do all I can to find more people who are ‘better’ than me so that I can learn how to improve myself.
Because teaching is not my long term goal (education is, so it’s related) I have started to feel disconnected from my job. But this is a new year and I have a great team supporting me. I know I can do it if I am patient and treat every day as a new beginning.
Since I had two free periods after lunch, I struck up a conversation with the other ladies in the staff room. I told them all about how I became a Johnny’s fan and how I started studying Japanese, studied abroad here multiple times, and showed them one of the books I started reading lately. They were really impressed I could write kanji and read books and Japanese people are always happy to know you find their culture interesting. It was just what I needed to feel better about myself. They praised me and told me I should help out more around school, and I really loved that they said that. I do want to get more involved, but since I move around so often, not many of the staff members get a chance to really understand what I do or why I do it.
I can’t wait for next week because I start my last few weeks with my third year students, who will graduate and go on to high school in the spring. I already feel lonely without them, but I have a lot to get done. I need to learn how to be a better teacher. I need to communicate more with my fellow staff members. And I need to create a deeper bond with my students and teachers so that we can help these kids prepare for high school.
I promise that looooong blog post is coming. Probably tomorrow!
But Tegomass is on Music Station tomorrow, so who knows!