This is my messy desk at work.
It has everything I need:
- Papers to be marked
- English to Japanese and Japanese to English dictionaries,
- Time sheet to get my hours stamped.
- Grades 1,2 and 3 text books.
- Draws filled with hidden Oyatsu such as Pocky.
- Schedule for the term.
- Whiteboard for memo's and revision.
- Mask I made for Setsubun.
If you become an ALT it is most likely that you will have a desk like this, It's made out of metal so if you leave your phone in the draw and it vibrates, you're going to hear a BIG NOISE.
You will have four draws, filled to the brim with all the crap that the previous ALT left behind, which you will end up salvaging for parts like a rabid raccoon. Everyone's desks are in rows, so everyone can see each other. Which is hilarious because everyone finds all sorts of sneaky ways to fall asleep at their desk. Everyone has a laptop but the ALT, which seems unfair but there are computers available and the other teacher's laptops have all the good sites blocked anyways - even Hotmail！
This is just outside my school, you'll notice it's snowing - this is the first time I've seen snow in Japan so I actually got super excited. The students were mature about it and stayed inside, while I ran around in it outside like a nutcase, trying to catch snowflakes on my tongue.
My school is a middle school so I teach the ages 11-15, which means a ton of ego and stroppy teenagers, but also students you can actually converse with and have their own little sense of humour. I love this age group so much, although I want to teach High School in future. You need a year's experience at a Middle School before you can work in a High School; so I have six months left!
Saitama is supposed to be the warmest prefecture around Tokyo so I think we only got a light dusting here in Koshigaya, which is good because It's already bloody freezing and as I have to take a bus AND a train to work, the likelihood of one of them being delayed due to weather conditions is pretty high.
Oh and finally; Yesterday was Setsubun!
Setsubun is the festival in Japan in which a member of the house hold dresses up as an "Oni" and the rest of the family pelt them with dry beans. This symbolizes bad luck going out and good luck coming in. That's also where the flashy mask came from that's on my desk; we got to make them in my Special ED class. Usually Oni's are red or green, so the students found my one hilarious....
At lunch time one of the teachers said "Hey Katie don't go throwing your lunch at people". I didn't quite know what he meant until I saw we had a small bag of dry beans served with our lunch with a little Oni on the packet.
"SEEEEEEEEEEEETTTTTTTTTTSSSSSSSSSSSUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUBBBBBBUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNN" I shouted, hurling it at the nearest student and starting a pre-preemptive bean war. Best lunch time in ages.