Friday, July 22, 2005


Yesterday was a good day... only two other teachers were here, and only an odd student here and there. Today however, the boorish, bullying sports teacher that sits across from me is back, and already the day has turned to shit. Aside from loving the sound of his own voice, he routinely shouts at the students and hits them with his elongated shoe horn. True, they may deserve this, but today he caned one boy, and cited as his reason "You got a low score in Mr Kenyon's exams."

If you want to cane children, arsehole, do it without bringing me into it.

I really don't like this job. Most of the students are apathetic and the teaching of English is way down the list of priorities. Not being fluent in Japanese, I am always left out of conversations and feel completely alone, as if I am an alien that has somehow lost his way and ended up surrounded by strange beings in a place he doesn't recognise.

Things are starting to annoy me here:

* The incessant shuffling of feet, which sounds lazy however you want to justify it.
* The slurping of drinks, hot or cold, and the overchewing of food.
* The way everyone simpers and swots when they are on the phone.
* The ingrained notion that looking as if you are doing something is better than actually doing it (the look on my boss' face when he asks me to send an email to an exchange school, and i do it within a minute, is priceless...).
* The fact that in some of my classes, the students are busily doing homework for Japanese class, and the fact that the other teachers consider this normal practice.
* The fact that I was encouraged to lower the grades of a student who did very well in my tests, because they don't usually study hard (the fact that the exams were geared more towards spoken conversation and not dictating from a 20 year old book didn't make a difference).
* The fact that I feel guilty for leaving at a respectable hour.
* The morning meeting is dull and on the whole unnecessary. The same things are said every morning, and the occasional new things could be easily sent over email.
* TOEFL classes have 40 students in them, which is far too many for effective learning. The fewest number of students I have is 20, which is still too many, considering I am supposed to be teaching everyday conversation.

That said, there are some perks:

* Some of the students are wonderful, creative and attentive.
* The President and Principal are really into English and are incredibly supportive and helpful.
* I have quite a bit of free time during the day.
* If I take a sick day, there is no deduction in my pay.
* The school canteen is excellent and very cheap.
* There are lots of breaks in the routine (exams, exam practice, field trips, study sessions etc).
* It's a prestigious high school and excells at a number of sports (consistently the best in Japan at baseball, tennis and golf).
* I am given a free reign to teach what I like (which can be a poisoned chalice...).
* It will look really good on a CV should I leave.


Post a Comment

<< Home