Friday, November 17, 2006

Ena Update: Fall has Arrived!

Beautiful! Lovery!
Dusk in the mountain top town of Akechi, a newly acquired tributary of Empire Ena.

I am much more than a geisha chaser. I am an Assistant English teacher. Behold, the fruits of my labor!

Kana is a third year junior high school student, which is the equivalent of 9th grade in the US. If you can't read it, click on the image and a larger version will pop up. (^-^)

KAWAII! How cute is this? Written by a second year (8th grade) student who does not like a lovery boy named Kazunori (^_<)

These are just a few of the smile-inducing journal letters my Beautiful Mountain School students write me every week. Although it is optional, most of them try to write at least once a week, and many even write three times a week. I'm always excited to see a huge stack of letters waiting in my mailbox when I visit, and spend more time writing back then I do preparing for class (>o<). I've learned so much about my kids through these little letters, and they've learned a lot about writing! The improvement we've seen is incredible, both in their vocabulary and sentence structure (although is obviously still far from perfect). Having the opportunity to write about anything they want, without the pressure of being graded, keeps the students motivated and keeps me up to date on everything about them, especially since I don't get to visit as much as I used to. This connection to my students, and the relationships that it has fostered, is what makes being an ALT worth all the hours of absolute, brain-numbing boredom.


Anonymous said...

(Did you just write "bordem"?)
Kawaii, na?! I really want my kids to start writing again. It kind of tapered off after not really taking hold. This week I'll try again. Keep it optional. Ya dig? Thanks for sharing.

WV: "Old King wncvzxox looked out, on the Feast of Stephen..."

Melissa said...

What? Bordem?! Is that even a word? I'm insulted! I would never write such a thing!

WV: "Old King wncvzxox looked out, on the Feast of Stephen..."

Nani sore?! Wakaran, zen zen! Loca...

Cherry said...

I wish I had a better support system while I was teaching. The kids were great but not a good infrastruture in place. Whenever I hear of great ideas like this, I regret not being to provide more variety to my students.

What have been your fave activities to do in class?

Lindizzy said...

awww, how cute! Teaching doesn't sound boring...@least not in ur class much longer ru gonna endure this boredom?

Anonymous said...

that's some good engrish they've learned there!... so i'm looking for airfaes to cambodia and it's like expensive. more than 1000. and up to 3000. ... what have ye to say 'bout this? are there better deals. must find out now, no? methinks maybe you might know where to look better than i.

Anonymous said...

Ok, sorry, it's "Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen...." Christmas song, woman!

And just for that, put a ckkol in your oven!

Melissa said...

Cherry I understand. As they always say, Every situation is different. Even during my 2 and a half years here, every semester has been different for me.Every school and teacher is different,too. The truth is,there is very little support, even for JETs (although I hear ALTIA is very good in this regard). At elementary I am the main teacher, and luckily I have one awesome, beautiful mountain school where the JTE and I do everything together, from lesson planning to teaching! That is why I have stayed as long as I have, and what makes my time here worthwhile.

My favorite activites? Do you mean actaul activites or games?

Lindz No! Teaching isint boring! Its great fun! The problem is that most of the time, Im not teaching. Even if I am in a class, I just stand by the door and try to keep myself awake as the "English" teacher drones on in Japanese. At my ghetto school, which is where I spend most of my time, I dont even get to do the greetings (Hello! How are you? Hows the weather? ect.) THAT is boring.

Brittney, your cuz said...

I miss you!! You look so pretty in that kimono. They are so funny, the papers(^-^)
We all miss you and are you coming home for the holidays?? Christmas that is!
Luv ya.....ur American cuzin who really wishes she could visit...Britt

Melissa said...

Thanks Britt! I miss you too! Wouldn't it be awesome if you could come to Japan?! We would have an incredible adventure (^o^)/ Are you sure you can't?

Letter's in the mail, cuz (^_<)/ Love!

Brittney said...

I wish I had the money!!! I am working now, so I might be able to a few summers from now. It pays well.$100 dollars a month. So maybe I could pretty soon, if my parents could afford to loose me for a while.
Well I luv you!! God Bless cuz('-')

Anonymous said...

"isin't"? "friend's"? You might want to look over your corrections.