Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Upcoming special exhibit at Towada Art Center

From March 19-April 10, 2011 there will be a special exhibit of works by Canadian (Quebec) and Japanese artists on the theme of l'intimidation /いじめ (ijime; bullying) on at the Towada Art Center.

As a teacher (I haven't seen a lot of bullying in the classrooms I've visited, but then again I'm not in them full time) and as a Canadian this is definitely a must-see for me!

I've also been told that the artists and curator will be present for the vernissage (preview) on March 19.
For more info on the exhibit, see the website: (in French and Japanese).

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fun teaching moments

After class one day, a third grade junior high student came up to me and asked: "What does 'some of the beach' mean?" (Then added, "I heard it in Bio Hazard.") At first I was totally stumped. I asked the student to repeat the phrase.

This time I heard 'sun of the beach.' I was still confused. Why would there be a reference to beaches in Bio Hazard?! 

After getting the student to repeat the phrase and saying it to myself a couple of times, the light dawned. It wasn't "sun of the beach", but "son of a 'beach'!"

So I explained that 'beach' is what you call a female dog and how it's not a nice thing to say to a person. Of course I also cautioned that it's not something that should be said in school. I'm proud to say that--keeping with my goal of using less Japanese at school--I managed to do pretty much the entire explanation in English! And I'm even more proud of my student for getting what I was saying!

Another recent fun teaching moment was playing the Broken Telephone-Pictionary game (rules explained in this previous post) with the same third grade students during my jishu gakushu class. (An extra English class I teach pretty much on my own for 30min for the first and second grade students, and for 50min for the third.) 

The one that had us all practically in tears laughing at the end of class started off innocently enough with the phrase "cutting cake". The phrase remained mostly unchanged for the first two people (1 drawing, 1 sentence) but then the third student misread "cut" as "cat" and.... Well, you can see the results for yourself!

Check out some other gems from that activity here

I really love this particular class and will be sad (but also proud and happy) when they graduate next month. Ah, the bittersweet joys of teaching...