Culture · Culture Shock · Elementary School Education · Living in Japan

My Students Say the Darnest Things

We all know that I love elementary school. Here are a few moments from this week that reminded me either 1) how much I love my students or 2) how naive and adorable they are.

One of my 2nd grade students asked me what my biggest culture shock was when I first came to Japan. I told her I was surprised how narrow the streets were. She was surprised that I did not say, “All Japanese people have brown eyes and black hair.”

A 4th grader was surprised that I was riding a bike to school because he thought that “only Japanese people did that.”

Apparently, when I wear one of those masks that Japanese use when either they are sick or they are avoiding getting sick (the latter doesn’t actually work), I look really cool (words of a 6 grade boy) and cute (words of a 5th grade girl)

While eating lunch with some 6th graders, two of the girls asked me about my eye make-up because my eyes looked prettier than usual. More specifically, they were wondering how I got such a lovely shade of purple under my eyes and to please teach them. Yes, they thought the bags under my eyes (due to a lack of sleep because of bronchitis) were pretty.

One of my 5th graders just now realized that I do not have brown eyes.

Still trying to convince them that I do not have blue eyes…nor do I have blonde hair.

A 5th grade boy told me that I “speak English so well!”

More to come I am sure.

29 thoughts on “My Students Say the Darnest Things

  1. Ahh!! I spent a few weeks with Japanese elementary students. They were WONDERFUL! I felt badly, because they were trying to speak English to me, but they were having so much trouble so I spoke in Japanese. They were AMAZED!! I have red hair, so they spoke nonstop about my hair and how strange it was. I honestly felt like a rockstar.

    That came when I visited a private high school. I stepped into this conference room full of senior High School students. They screamed and jumped around, like I was “Aberu” (Avril). Quite an experience. Since then, I’ve wanted to teach English to elementary students. It would be very fun!

  2. When I lived in Japan school kids would come up to me and ask for my autograph. Believe me, that’s never happened anywhere else. Also, one time a kid asked me “What is the difference in English between, ‘He’s history,’ and ‘He’s toast.'” That was an interesting challenge!

    1. The autograph thing is funny, isn’t it? My signature is one of the most coveted prizes in my classroom. I got asked about the expression “it’s a piece of cake” and why cake was chosen.

  3. YOU DON’T HAVE BLUE EYES OR BLOND HAIR?

    WHAT.

    I MEAN

    HAVE YOU BEEN LYING TO ME ALL THIS TIME?

    Ahahaha I love your ridiculous student stories, Kyasa.

  4. I have some funny stories of my own. I’m an 8th grader and my school has an elective called “Teacher Aid” where you help out an elementary class (My school is a K-8 school). I help out this 2nd grade class and the kids are very funny at some times.

  5. lol that’s really funny. i’m japanese, but i’ve never really lived there and what you write reminds me of my ten months that i spent there. technically english is my first language though im fully japanese and i remember people saying things like ‘you’re so good at english?’ or ‘are you japanese?’
    hahaha
    keep it up!

  6. Isn’t it nice to teach a bunch of kids in a foreign country.

    India is a small continent or a small world in itself. it is great to visit different places, different people, cultures etc. Have a good time.

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