Teaching in Japan





When I lived in the same city as my company I could be seen hanging around the office a lot.  Between classes was a perfect time to goof around with the students, or other teachers.  This is the NEW Picachu.  The old Picachu was a yellow Pokemon but now he has split into Plus and Minus... SO interesting, I know... But these are some very important things to know in Japan...This, and anything pertaining to Disney.

Kindergarten on a swimming day.  They have bathing suits on under their smocks.


My first time in Gyoda was when I was still working in Ashikaga.  I filled in for about a month at this great school.  The kids love me!

I was NOT into the forced Halloween, but this class is cool, so I didn't mind it when I had them.

Ho Ho Ho... yes, I had to be Santa.  On stage and everything.

These kindergarteners were SO young that the first 2 or 3 classes many cried.  I was sure at this point that I knew how to handle it, but the school owner was really worried.  I predicted what would happen and I was right.  Simple developmental psych could tell anyone, but they don't know about that kind of stuff here.


My last day at this kindergarten.

Being smothered by a student.

Gyoda elementary school 5th grade.

This is in the hall of the Gyoda junior high school I filled in at, but I must not have been working, because I wore suits for that school.


Hackuoh, the private junior high school I worked at in Ashikaga.  This guy up front is the #1 judo wrestler in this part of Japan.

The other class at the private junior high school.  I really learned a lot from the year I spent at this school.  And I think they learned a lot also, even though it wasn't the standard style class they were used to.  I know they gained a lot of respect for me.  The other teacher quit because they treated her like shit.  They treated me like shit too for the first few classes, but I made it clear to them that I was not some asshole teacher, and that we could have fun if they worked with me.  I had to be a hard ass for the first time in these classes too, but the worst kids turned out to like me the most by the end (a trend I've noticed for some reason).  I'm glad I taught this class all alone without another teacher in the room.  It helped me learn more, and the kids deal with me instead of think of me as a unimportant voice recorder.

Screwing around in the preschool room.

My Students

Not an interesting picture, but the only one I have of soemthing that happens all the time.  These kids think I'm a jungle gym!

Seriously!  They're like little monkeys!

This is a typical method of teaching piano for cheap in kindergarten.

Lunch is held in the classroom throughout the Japanese education.  This is the kids' first encounter with it is pre-boxed "bento" (box lunches).

This is their elementary school lunch where there is more responsibility to serve the food themselves on plates.

NOT a school lunch.  This was my Christmas gift to my Hackuoh junior high school English club.

This was their Thanksgiving party which I cooked a turkey and other sides for.

Little bit of business and pleasure at the Thanksgiving party.

In Japan they celebrate "Sports Day" twice a year.  It's like a massive sports meet all on one day.  I don't know why they don't just have individual sports games on weekends.  This is a HUGE effort to get all the teams to play ALL their games together on one day.

Stick fighting is an ancient sport (training for warfare) in Japan, and is still practiced in schools.

Judo is what Hackuoh junior high school is most famous for.  It attracts the top athletes in this part of Japan.

Each of my elementary schools has a nice swimming pool, and the kids actually have pool class at least once a week.  They teach them to swim a little, but mostly it's just fun games that build the team spirit that Japanese culture depends on so much.

Elementary school luch.  She is a server, but her outfir is not special.  Al students wear this outfit to protect their clothes.

Half way through lunch.  Everyday they get a box or milk, some carbohydrates (rice or noodles in a bag), some vegetables, and some meat of some sort.

Nothing out of the ordinary.  Just band practice.  They are far from gifted... However, notice the 11 year old girl wearing the playboy bunny shirt.  This it TOTALLY normal for any age in Japan.  And it's not because they don't know what Playboy is.  It's just considered OK... fuckin' Japan, eh???