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Resolution for the day: make a better effort to keep up web journal.  

Normally I have a hard time thinking in pencil and paper.  But today I am writing
 this at my desk.  Why?  Why am I writing instead of working?  Work you say?
 And that would be....?

The time is now 10:10 am, do you know where your JTE is?  Mine would be in class,
 working.  I think he must be doing a wonderful job with this team teaching lesson,
 but since I am not there, I wouldn't really know.  

I have three classes scheduled for today.  Periods 1, 2 and 3.  Its now second
 period.  How many classes have I had?  Zero, zilch, nada, nashi.  Yesterday I 
 had two of four scheduled classes, both were ichinensei and with the same
 teacher.  There seems to be some miscommunication among the second and  third
 year teachers.  Either they don't actually know when our classes are scheduled, or
 they don't realize team teaching requires two people.  (Or they just don't like
 me.)  I even have one English teacher I've never even taught with.  I haven't even
 actually met her.  I would introduce myself but I don't know who she is.  

The class groups are divided in half for English.  So for every class on my schedule
 there are two teachers.  I think they just pretend I am supposed to go with the
 other guy.  I suppose I could bring this up with them, but with only one week left,
 I don't have the energy to deal with the 'hmmm...I see..", Especially when I could
 be using this time to do NOTHING!

I figure there are two possible scenarios for the solution here.  A: I get to have
 class with 'I live in the hermetically sealed office of Hypertension down the hall'
 sensei.  He gives me plenty of warning on lessons, and tells me to make some
 activity for said grammar point.  I come up with an action packed activity that
 requires student participation.  He says, 'hmm..I see, but I think they'll get
 confused.'.  I then come up with a new not necessarily hard activity that requires
 a long explanation which the kids wouldn't understand if they were awake and I
 was speaking Japanese.  (Well, no, let's be honest, ANY explanation is too long). 
 But, since we've had no discussion and its not the last minute, we use this second
 activity.  Then, I show up in class, only to discover that this is the FIRST time
 these kids have even seen this material.  So he spends half the class explaining it
 in Japanese, (though with a lot of genk, I must admit), while the kids sit there with
 their eyes crossed.  Then we do our 'communicative' acitivity whereupon half the
 kids take a nap.  If I poke them, they glare at me indignantly and then I think
 about how much I wish I could be sleeping right then, too, and move on.

We help some of the kids who actually do try, but there's usually not much time
 left.  But I don't want you to think that every class is that bad.  Just sort of
 kind of really dull.

Afterwards, he fibs and thanks me for making the good lesson, then we trudge
 through it again with the next class.  'Hmmm..I see, lets not confuse the kids with
 fun.'. Of course, at this point, I think something fun really would confuse them.

In scenario B, I get to teach with 'got a worksheet?' sensei.  He comes to me ten
 minutes before class and says, 'Hey, I don't have anything prepared, any ideas? 
 Do you have a worksheet?'.  But, since he lets me do anything, I whip out that fun
 board game or quiz game I have pre-made.  He seems to have gotten the half of
 the students that have a heartbeat, albeit a slow one, so this class doesn't go as
 bad.  My partner however, disappears into the corner, or leaves the room, or
 takes out his computer and starts working.  I've gotten used to it by now, and with
 twenty students, its not so bad.  Boy, I really had a blast when it was 40 unruly
 kids and I had just started teaching.  I would try valiantly to make certain kids
 quit screaming and/or wrestling, or  repeating everything I said in a really loud
 obnoxious voice, and he would just look at me with a 'I told you we should've done
 a worksheet' smirk.  Yeah, sometimes worksheets aren't so bad.

I only have a couple of days left now, so I guess I'll content myself with the few
 first year classes I have.  They're always fun anyway.  Besides being cute, the
 kids actually stay awake and listen.  Unfortunately, I don't actually have any
 first year classes today.  So I am just going to have to keep writing, have a couple
 cups of coffee, maybe scope out a secret room where I can take a nap.  I might
 even get some studying in.  I also have to write a speech for my goodbye
 ceremony.  I wrote a heck of a tearjerker for my last school.  But I am not sure
 what to say when I've never even talked to half the teachers here, and I haven't
 even taught half the kids since April.  Maybe I'll thank them for all the free time.

Note to self: DO NOT give web address to any Japanese teachers!



OK, so its not much of an update when its posted simultaneously, too bad.  The next day,
 I had two classes scheduled with scenario B teacher.  As I prepare to go with him to 
 the second one, he informs me that I'm mistaken.  He then apologizes profusely for 
 teaching by himself.  They then reschedule another first year class so I can teach third
 year with him.  I almost start to feel guilty about thinking he was so apathetic.  
 Apparently he was just misinformed.  I didn't listen too closely when he mentioned a
 business trip.  Well, that business trip happened halfway through class.  Poof! The
 disappearing JTE!  Well, I suppose he wasn't doing anything anyway.  I take back all
 feelings of guilt.  I am an assistant teacher, not a substitute teacher, blastit!





  Hey! What time is it in Japan?

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