Sunday, 2 February 2014

Back to Blogging!

I finally bought a laptop so I can blog again!

I since my last post I have been living in Japan for about five months, so I have a lot to update you on. There have been some massive highs and of course, a few lows.

I have been working at a middle school in Koshigaya since I arrived and it has been one of the most memorable and life changing experiences of my life!

I will shortly make a video of this but firstly, I'll do a day in the life of me, on a working day.

6:30 : Wake up, check E-mails,, put on music and get ready for work.
7:10 : Leave my house and walk to the Seven Eleven, buy lethal doses of coffee and Pocky and then head to the station.
7:24 : Arrive at the station, get on the train to work,
7:35 : Get on the train, the station I need is two stops away.
7:40: Arrive at the station and walk to the bus stop.
7:45 Get on the bus to work, usually I have to stand up the whole journey. A woman I work with always gets the same bus, she doesn't speak any English but we chat for the duration of the journey. Two or three students get on the bus from the special Ed class too, they are always genki in the mornings.
7:55 : Arrive at the bus stop, walk towards work and engaging any students I meet in small talk about the weather or what they had for breakfast.
8:00 : Enter the building, put my "inside" shoes on and sit at my desk after announcing "ohayou gozaimasu" to as many people as I can. Me and Oba-chan sit at our desks which are conveniently next to each other. I drink my coffee and prepare for my classes.
8:15 : The teachers meeting begins, they take it in turns to discuss the business of the day, I pick up on important things such as "such and such has influenza" or "this particular class is cancelled" but as my Japanese is not fluent, I usually just draw unicorns on my white board and drink my coffee.
The meeting lasts about ten minutes.
8:35: The other teachers have already scrambled off to their homerooms or other engagements, so I sit at my desk until the students arrive for cleaning. Me and my Kyoutou-sensei (Vice Principle) greet the students, bow and begin to clean. Cleaning is just using brooms to clean under people's desks (which get ridiculously dusty) and emptying the waste paper baskets. Then I just sign the form that says they've completed it and sit back at my desk, prepare some more lessons and drink my coffee.
9:00 First lesson starts, I grab my text book and the papers I need and walk to class. On the way to class dozens of excited students shout "Good morning" so I try and engage as many in conversation as I can, they usually give up after "how are you?" "I'm fine thank you, and you?"
9:05 : Class begins, the students bow and sit down, I say my greetings, ask them how the weather is, get them to spell it and then, unless I have arranged a game,  pass them to the JT for their lesson.
This is where my day becomes different, as it completely depends on which JT I'm working with to how the lesson will be. Some JT's and I play a lot of games and interact a lot more with the children, while others just get the children to memorize text and have me repeating words over and over to them.
Usually I will read the "new words" and text to the students and have them repeat it and then I will try to help them with their pronunciation, we will have an activity using the television where the students have to guess the words and then finally, some kind of work sheet that they have to fill in or take notes. As boring as that sounds, lessons are always fun when the JT and I engage more with the students, play games or tell them stories.
There are four periods before lunch, each period is fifty minutes long. Usually I will have three classes before lunch, the free period I just study at my desk and drink coffee.
1:00 : Lunch time!
Students will knock on the teachers room and try to ask me in English if I will eat lunch with them, I don't join them unless they say "Katie-sensei, let's eat lunch together" which can sometimes take a long time.....
I sit at the table I've been assigned to and talk to the students in English; usually we chat about the games they like, the anime their watching or which teacher they think is the coolest!
The students are the ones that dish out the food to everyone and they wear cute little aprons and bandannas - it's adorable!
School lunch is usually;  A meat dish such as chicken karaage, a bowl of rice and some form of soup, sometimes there is a dessert such as jelly it's accompanied with a carton of milk. Usually it's delicious and often very varied. The only problem I have is the days that we have bread to dip in the soup they give you like two massive buns and it's far too much.
After eating we clear our plates and Rock Paper Scissors for who will clean the table. I always cheat at it because the students find it hilarious!
2:00 : After lunch I have one more class, or more often than not a free period in which I just eat pocky and study. I need to fill out my timesheet and get my Kyoutou sensei to stamp it with his hanko and then I am free to leave at 3:20.
3:20 Take the bus and train home, return to my Sharehouse and have a nice long nap!
4:00 : After work usually I have dinner with a friend, but about twice a week I will travel to Tokyo and meet with friends to play 'Taiko no Tatsujin'.

Thursdays I also teach a hospital class, this is my favourite class as I have full control and only teach about 5 students. I get to make up themed classes, give out stickers and I even held a Halloween part for us!

Aren't my students adorable?!?!

Here's a photo of the hospital I work at:

Sorry for the extremely boring first post, I thought it would be useful to see what I actually do at work.


  1. It wasn't a boring post at all! I was kind of wondering what your job was like after hearing that you are in Japan now.

  2. Very interesting post ~ I am interested in going to Japan and teaching English as well! ^^ Looking forward to more posts :3