Monday, April 29, 2013

an update on japan

If you haven't guessed already.... I'm in Japan. I knew after I ended my job back in Taiwan that I wanted to teach - somewhere different this time. This time around it was way easier to get a job - having prior experience definitely helped. I think it took roughly a month of applying for jobs and going through interviews before I got a job offer. Yay for experience and confidence in knowing what I'm talking about in regards to teaching.

I've been in Japan - specifically Ichinomiya, for a little less than a month now. In that time I got a week of training - a lot of which consisted of me teaching classes where the teacher I was following observed me. Then I got some more observations by the head teacher where he sat in every class for two or three days. Nerve wracking as all hell. It was really hard for me to adjust in the beginning because my predecessor's teaching method was so different from my own. When he observed me I had to do it his way and it was awkward and stiff for me. On top of that I had never really taught adult classes, pre-kinder or preschool aged kids so I was really inept in those areas. The level of English between my Taiwanese and Japanese students is huge. Its taking some time to adjust to the change but I love being able to get this experience working with such a huge range of students from 3-4 year olds to senior citizens. My schools pretty awesome and everyone is so nice. 

I also got to experience moving in Japan. Not sure how many people can say they experience a move within Japan. The movers were these tiny Japanese men but so efficient. Our apartment got cleared out in a couple of hours. They brought padding cloths to protect the furniture and even provided us with moving boxes. They moved everything out including the washer, dryer, stove, etc and help connect everything too. It was really annoying to have just moved to Japan and then have to clear out an apartment filled with 10 years of abandoned stuff from previous teachers. Good thing I have a good roomie to make up for it! 

The hardest thing so far besides the language barrier is the fact that I need to bike everywhere. I only learned how to bike once back in college for around an hour. The beginning was horrible and I was crashing right and left. Especially scary when there are people on the streets and other bicyclists that I could potentially harm. Streets that had no sidewalks were also dangerous because I was afraid of falling into the street and having a car hit me, believe me there were a couple of near misses. I'm proud to say I've started to get the hang of it and no longer crash and eat s***. 

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