2 Schools, Chalk & Cheese

Today’s 2 schools couldn’t have been more different. The 3 hours this morning was really great, the teachers were genki from the start and were really into wanting to learn about how to teach English. They had a great time, really got into the activities, asked loads of great questions and by the end of it they really did feel that they had enough confidence and resources to teach on their own! They especially liked the Teaching Guide Video CDROM – I’ll have to include that in all the presentations from now on! You can always tell a good school by the Head teacher’s first greeting, if s/he’s genki then the teachers are. And today’s guy could actually speak English! I’ve not seen that for a while! He was also really genki so the teachers were fantastic.

Today’s workshops were also organised by the Education retailer in Fukuoka, the company that sells the schools their gear. So I not only got chauffeured around, I also got a free lunch!

Then off to this afternoon’s school for another 3 hour workshop. First off the signs weren’t good as the Head teacher greeted us by hurriedly putting out his cigarette – usually not a good sign! But he was actually a cool guy who said he was looking for a English system to use in the schools and anything I could do to help would be much appreciated. So off to the library ( the summer workshops are done in the school libraries as they have air conditioning!), and the teachers arrived and boy were they hard work!!! Half of them were just sat there with a “why do we have to listen to this” expression on their faces, something I’ve not seen in a while! By the time they got to the end and especially after the War speech they were totally on board, but it took a lot of tough work to get them there!

Then some nice unagi for dinner and back home, where I had an email from MEXT. The ALTs on the discussion board have been putting together on open letter to the Education Ministry about Elementary School English. I had sent it off to the ALT advisor there, and he got straight back to me saying there was a meeting of the central council next week and they were discussing opinions from outside sources. Great timing! So I sent a copy of the letter off to the guy in charge and I also had to arrange for a Japanese translation to be sent off tomorrow as I have 6 hours of workshops and won’t be able to do it!

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. When I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. Now I help teachers just like you teach amazing lessons and double your incomes!