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

I ♥ My Job

pretty pretty flowers

So, today marked my last day of classes at elementary school (and probably the entire school year seeing the trend of zero classes for the past month at Jr. high) and man was it an emotional day.

Today I actually only had one class in the morning due to 5th and 6th graders having ridiculous amounts of graduation practice. However, after lunch the 6th grade classes had some “free” time. One of the teachers came to the teachers’ room where I was studying kanji and asked if it was alright for me to go and just say good-bye to the students seeing as it was my last day with them. We start walking to the classrooms, which I notice to be empty, and go into a large classroom that is used for the dance club. Waiting there were the 6th graders ready to give me a gift. There gift was to sing a song called 最後のチャイム which translates to the last (bell) chime. The song is about one’s last day of school before graduation. Naturally, I did not have my camera for this, but I did fine a youtube recording of the song.

Oh yeah, I was in tears about 30 seconds into the song. After they sang, the teachers asked if any students had a final message they wanted to say to me (more crying from me). I was only with these kids for half the year (September until now), but I became to attached to them. They really were (are) a great group of kids and I wish I could keep teaching them in elementary school. Still, all of them will be going to the same school…which happens to be the school right across the street from my apartment complex.

Here are my 6th grade students (forgive my rather dazed look in a few of the pictures. I was still taking medicine for my bronchitis):

6-1 class

This class always made me laugh. They were always energetic and probably had some of the biggest personalities.
6-2 class

This class was by far the most quiet. At first, I was often worried as to whether or not they were enjoying class. However, during break time they would always come up and talk with me. Didn’t take me very long to figure out that this class needed group activities to get the kids talking.
6-3 class

This class was probably the easiest for me to teach. I absolutely adore their homeroom teacher and, because we had a good relationship, we were a great team teaching combination. Back in October, I had to do an example English lesson for all elementary school teachers in Kawagoe, and this was the class I taught for that lesson.
6-4 class

This class had a hilarious homeroom teacher who always added fun facts and trivia about the English topic I was teaching. He really tried to get the kids interested in English outside the classroom and for them to ask lots of questions. It was always fun teaching them as they really were a curious group of kids who always asked questions outside of what Eigo Noto provided.

When classes were done, all the teachers were called into the teachers’ room for a meeting. I assume that we were going to talk about graduation. Wrong. They had a sort of closing ceremony for me in which the principal gave a short little speech about me. Then, the teacher in charge of making my schedule called me to the front of the room where I was given a lovely bouquet of flowers (see the above picture) and then asked to say a few words. Already emotionally exhausted from everything the 6th graders had done for me, I was literally at a loss for words and kind of just cried through a short “speech.” Next, I gathered my things and got ready to leave when all the teachers were called out into the hallway. I had to walk through the line of clapping teachers to get to my shoe box and a few teachers helped me carry my stuff to my bike. As I rode off, the entire school staff was waiting at the door waving good-bye to me.

The hard thing about this situation is that I really don’t know if I will be back at this school or not. Today really could have been my last day or it could have been the last day of this school year and I will be back for the next one. I won’t know until about the day before the new school year starts. I really enjoyed working at this school and came to love my job even more because of it. The teachers and students were all fantastic and there was never a day where I woke up and though ug, do I really have to go to school today? – something I have felt at one point (or everyday) with my other two schools.

Here’s to hoping that i can at least keep this school.

6 thoughts on “I ♥ My Job

  1. Well, at least you kept up the tradition of crying.

    But now you get vacation, right? I hope you plan on sleeping a lot!

  2. Oh that is such a sweet goodbye you received from the staff and students. I would cry too if I was in your position hehe^^ The flowers are so beautiful and I hope you can go back to that school again!

  3. What a beautiful, memorable day. I’m sure you’ll treasure it. I have a folder of letters from my ninth graders when I did my student teaching. I was surprised and touched when they presented it to me. I laughed and cried over the letters they wrote. My two favorites were the boy who told me had been shooting spitballs and I never caught him, and the boy who said he liked the book I made him read even when he didn’t want to read it. Best wishes on your future assignment.

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