Friday, January 29, 2010

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

So I was teaching at Chitose Elementary School--one of my "regular" ES visiting schools--today and doing the fifth grade Eigo Note lesson on school subjects.

Our final activity was charades. The kids had no problem thinking of things to show science, math, P.E., music, and even Japanese, but they had difficulty with subjects like social studies.

Then one kid came to the front to act and started off by leaving the classroom. Then he came back in with the biggest grin on his face and gave a really big, exaggerated "hello" wave. The answer, of course, was "English". ^___^

I'm not the only ALT who visits the school, but I couldn't help but feel happy that he had such a positive, "genki" image associated with ALTs. (Especially since I've always thought of myself as a rather serious/dour person.) And the home room teacher even made a comment (re: the student's choice of gesture) along the lines that the class's energy/motivation ("tension" in Japanese) always went up for ALT visits.

It was a good reminder that the attitude we bring is often far more important than what we do in the classroom.

With all the worries about my Kirita third year students (and their impending high school entrance exams) lately, I guess I've been feeling pretty tired and "blah" lately. (Well, at Kirita anyway. I always make extra efforts for elementary school visits.) As a result, my office time at Kirita this week was almost completely unproductive and I didn't try very hard to talk with the students during lunch either. ^^;;

But if I keep today's English gesture in mind, hopefully I can go back into the classroom on Tuesday with renewed energy/enthusiasm.