You may have noticed from my re-contracting post that I've been feeling a little less...genki...about the job recently. Well, today was, happily, a day where the little things reminded me exactly why I love the job.
I usually prefer visiting small schools, but the one thing I love about big schools is walking through the halls in the time between classes. There are throngs of students and they almost all greet you as you walk by. That's my favourite thing. Usually they say "konnichiwa" and look shocked when I reply with a cheerful "hello!" but sometimes they actually recognize that I'm an English teacher and they say "hello!" right off the bat. In the latter case, they're usually really cheerful about it--as if it's a new game to be able to recognize the ALT and use the proper English greeting. Regardless of how the class went, or how tired I am after class, walking down the halls (particularly at the school I was at today, Sanbongi JHS) and greeting students never fails to bring a big smile (a grin, actually) to my face. ^_________^
Then too, today I ended off with a super genki (but not unmanageable) ichinensei class. Before class started, the students were talking to me and asking questions. One student asked if I went to Baskin Robbins (she thought she saw me there), and another asked how to say "hentai" in English. =D Of course, I didn't tell him right there, but I admit, I did tell him after class.
I guess it's kind of bad of me, but I really enjoy teaching students the "bad" words, if they ask, for example: "hentai," "geri," "unko," and "ji"--respectively, "pervert," "diarrhea," "poop," and "hemorrhoid."
In the same class, a student came up to the teacher to ask the difference between "a" and "the." (He's writing the Eiken test--a standardized English level placement test--the month, I gather.) I tried to help explain with broken Japanese, and he seemed to kind of get it. (Of course, it's difficult because there are a lot of different reasons why/cases where "the" should or should not be used.) It made me really happy to see a student taking initiative and asking for an explanation about a grammar point! ^_____^
So yeah, it was a good day. Since I recognize that I'm getting a little tired from teaching, I'm definitely going to have to make more of an effort to notice the little things that bring me happiness.