Okinawa Day 3, the task fills the time

No matter how many times I do these “jissen” ( where the teachers teach ) workshops I always have a sinking feeling part way through that the teachers will never make it and we’ll end up finishing with them even more confused than where we started. But luckily every time ( so far!) we get to the teachers’ third time at presenting, everything always seems to click. When I let them take 30 minutes to prepare yesterday, it took 30 minutes, today I gave them 5 and it took just 5. In a real school Japanese school you’d never have 30 minutes to prepare for just one lesson, and 5 minutes makes sure you cut out all the humming and ahhing and being far too polite in deciding which teacher will do which part, and simply get on with the job! As usual the teachers were taking the GE lesson plans and dressing them up with their own teaching skills which was great. They actually did some great lessons! The workshops worked well and we got some great feedback in the afternoon. If you looked at what they learnt it might all seem obvious, but putting in practice means you really feel it.

Then in the afternoon we did lots of extra stuff like how to use the computer games in an elementary school computer room ( have several computers, the teacher says “go” and see who can finish the game the quickest), picture books, hip hop songs etc. There was also a request for phonics. I only briefly introduced the GE phonics materials, but I probably should have taken the time to explain things properly. i.e. that it’s the sounds that come first, and the letters are how you represent those sounds, not the other way round!

Then out in the evening for another string of meetings, dinners and drinks until 2 in the morning!

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And 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. So I'm sharing it all with you now...