Culture · Elementary School Education · Living in Japan · Teaching

Cockroaches Have Good Timing

This story was too good to not tell.

So, at one of my elementary schools they ask that I teach the other grades besides the required 5th and 6th grade classes. This means that I usually teach more classes than is actually allowed according to my contract, but since when has my boss actually listened to anything in it anyway (NOTE: if you remember my post about my totally empty apartment. It was in my contract that the Kawagoe Ministry of Education would provide me with basic needs such as a fridge, washing machine, and at least decent bedding. I was given none of this and had to buy everything myself on my first day in Japan).

Back to the point at hand. When I was explaining a game to practice greeting in English (Hello, my name is Katherine. Nice to meet you *handshake*). How the game goes is everyone starts out as a cockroach, they find a partner and then greet with them. They then play rock-paper-scissors and the winner “evolves” in a rabbit. The evolution scale goes “cockroach-rabbit-monkey-human-angel.” One student told me I was smart to include a monkey before the human stage because we all evolved from monkeys. Yay for Japan not having any clashes with religion!

Anyway, I was explaining that the kids need to find a cockroach-friend to greet and play rock-paper-scissors with. Of course, the kids laughed and showed how grossed out they were at finding a cockroach friend, when two students in the front really started screaming in disgust. One boy calmly looks at me and says “ゴキブリ友達見つけた!”(I found a cockroach-friend!).

As if by fate, there was a cockroach crawling around on the floor just in time to play the “Evolution Game” with my students and me.

While the teacher put the little guy outside, I had to convince a room full of 40 first graders that I did not plan for their to be a cockroach during my explanation nor did I carry said cockroach to school in my bag.

I love kids.

3 thoughts on “Cockroaches Have Good Timing

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