JPN1213#5 An Ordinary Day

Deren and Students

I tend to wake up just about ten minutes before I have to leave my house. This love of sleep and insistence that I can manage prepping myself for the day in under ten minutes has resulted in a few unshaved patches and some accidental 2nd day socks. I depart my apartment around 11am by bicycle and head for the nearest convenience store. I purchase my lunch and my breakfast there. Then I bike to work by eleven fifteen. I clock into work and do my small morning chores.

I eat my breakfast in the teachers room. This meal lasts three minutes, until recently I ate it standing up. Once that is over I review my file cabinet, just kidding I don’t have a file cabinet! I review my toy bucket and fish out the coming lesson’s plan. My first lesson starts at 11:40.

After my first class is over I have a three-hour break between classes. This is a busy time for me as I prepare the following week’s lessons and attempt to tailor each general lesson plan for my student’s specific needs. Since it is a private English school with about 50% private lessons, as oppose to group lessons, I spend a good bit of the afternoon tailoring to the specific needs of the students. Actually the needs of the parents and the limitations or interests of the children.

I have a one hour break and until recently I hadn’t discovered a good place to spend it. I just recently realized that the diner across the street from my school has a coffee, soda, and juice fountain that I can drink from and sit at. From now on I will spend much of my time their. My break is a good time for me to not focus on school. Until recently, I was so busy playing catch up that I wasn’t able to take my full hour breaks. However, thankfully I have started to get a handle of things.

As the day rolls on the age of my students increase. The last students of the night who end class at eight thirty are in high school. High schoolers and babies are the best students. They are the most interested in the material and focused. I have a few almost bi-lingual students and I take it upon myself to teach them a few out of the textbook things. I feel like for those students with contact and knowledge of the English-speaking world, knowing a thing or two about that world can be really beneficial.

In between classes there is a ten minute break for me to stand in the teachers room or recoup from my last salvo of children. I enjoy this time and I see to it that my co-workers also get to have a laugh. I have to be careful, not all jokes can transcend cultural lines.

Until recently, after the last student left from school at 8:30 I would stay an extra two hours to prepare material, however I have finally got to the point that I don’t need to do that to effectively manage my work.

After work I bike home, cook stew, watch TV, computer, study Japanese and then go to bed. Then I repeat that cycle for the next five days.

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