Monday, April 12, 2010

Those about to teach, we salute you

This week (or somewhere there abouts), spring vacation will end and schools will begin the new term. For many expats living here, spring means sakura and ichinensei. Tomorrow I'll begin teaching classes again. As usual, I'm excited and a little apprehensive. Excited because there are new minds to be molded, and because I'm going to be team teaching a new kind of course this year called 総合英語, which is basically an integrated studies course. We'll be teaching the students other subjects in English. I'm apprehensive because as this is only my second year (although my third rotation of ichinensei), I haven't yet run full circle of the English department.

In many Japanese high schools, the teachers advance with their students. In other words, your English teacher, math teacher, history teacher, etc. moves with you and teaches you for 3 years, in most cases. So this is my first year working with a few of the teachers. Could be good, but it's just stressful readjusting my teaching/class style every year and not knowing exactly what to expect at first.

Anyway, to those who are beginning another new year, good luck and God speed to you. To those who are about to begin for the first time, just remember to be friendly and confident. Everyone makes mistakes and (nearly) everyone gets nervous from time to time, but if you maintain a sense of humor and own the classroom, all will be well with the world.


  1. Hello Paul-san, Hope this new year will be successful for you and your students. When I was in school (many many years ago...), it was not required to study English in elementary school, and there were no native English-speaking teachers in my middle school and also high school. My English teachers (nihon-jin) didn't like to speak to their students in English other than reading our class textbooks. I really wanted to have a chance to study English with a native sensei. It is great the kids nowadays can learn from English native teachers like you. ^_^

  2. Thanks, Taeko.

    I do think it's a cool program, and students can benefit from interacting with native speakers of the language they're studying. I do think ALTs should be employed differently in many circumstances, but perhaps that's a topic for another post.