Yamada High – Chapter 4 – The Grind

Not that my work was actually difficult in any way, I just decided to title this chapter The Grind because I was getting into the regular swing of things.

In the morning I took the train (Tsurumai Line) from Shiogama-guchi to Kamiotai. So everyday I was going from east to northwest Nagoya. In the mornings the train was jam packed with salarymen and OLs (as they call them in Japan). But when I got near Kamiotai (the last station) it was nearly all high school students. I nodded and said hi to most students but I rarely ever conversed with any of them on the train.

Once a week I had to get ready for class, because basically I taught the same lesson 12x per week; meaning I had a lot of free time on my hands. Where did I spend my free time? Usually on the school PCs (facebook, mixi, wikipedia and etc), studying Japanese and when I could, I would join other classes. Girls gym class was my favorite. I wanted to join Japanese, Science, History and etc, but when I asked the teachers, their yes reply felt like a no. This is called shakōjirei in Japanese (社交辞令).

When teaching I did not feel like the assistant at all. I felt that I was the main teacher. Usually the Japanese Teacher of English (JTE) was on the side and would support me during the lessons, not the other way around. I made the lesson plans and was alone in front of the class. The JTE was usually on the side and would help if anything needed to be explained in Japanese.

Next time: Chapter 5 – The School Festival

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