Friday, September 02, 2005

Ashiro 1st Graders

Written last Friday, published today.

What a way to start a term! By teaching the youngest class at the biggest school! Don't get me wrong, these ankle-biters are the bees knees, and I love each and every one of them. But after a six week long hiatus, it's something of a baptism of fire to have them as your first class.

As soon as I walked into the classroom, I was greeted by 27 beaming munchkin faces, assorted cries of "Eri-sensei!!" and assorted hands reaching for assorted parts of my body (we ALTs are something of a playground for the young 'uns; glad I'm not a bloke...). After I had deposited them back at their desks, we enjoyed a fairly smooth and productive lesson. Well, as smooth and productive as it can be with 6 year olds who understand less than nothing of what you are saying!

We played a game called "Grab a Friend", where I put on some music, they dance a bit, I stop the music, they freeze, I call a number, and then they all get into groups of that number as fast as possible. I had some Japanese J-pop with me, and put on a particulalrly mad, ravey number, and they totally rocked out! The sight of these wee things going mad, having a good old boogie, but all the time keeping one eye on me was just great! I danced and jumped along, and generally behaved like a six year old.

There's one little kid in the class called Keigo. Keigo and his entire family belong to Minoda-ren, and he thinks this means he and I have a special bond. I guess we do in some way, but it's not something I'm about to play up to for him. It just struck me as funny that today I was being all teachery with him, being very authorative and so forth, but not three weeks ago, he was pouring me beer at the halfway party for Minoda-ren. "Keigo! Get over here, my glass is empty!". Probably, I'd get reprimanded for that in the UK, but here, such things don't seem to be such a big deal.

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