I absolutely love to be around enthusiastic people. And children who seem to be downright thrilled about learning English are the best!
The teacher at Osani Elementary School taught her second grade students to say, "Let's enjoy English. Yeah!!" before they begin English class. And along with screaming "Yeah!!" they raise their little fists into the air and have giant smiles on their faces. Gotta love it. :)
I tried getting the students at my junior high schools to say and do that, too, and I'm pretty sure they thought I was on something. A couple of them did it to humor me, but clearly they're too old for that kind of enthusiasm about learning English, and it's just not cool. What a shame.
But I still have fun at the four different junior high schools I go to, don't get me wrong. I help teach a different lesson at each school, so there's variety in my week. However, my first day at each junior high school went the same way: a self introduction followed by a question/answer session.
"Hello. My name is Dana Sease. I am from Indiana. Indiana is a state in America. There are six people in my family. We all have names that start with the letter "D." I am the oldest and shortest of four kids...and the speech continues..."
"This is a picture of the Sease side of my family." Family, I miss you! I've been thinking and talking about you a lot!
At each school, my goal is not only to help the students learn English, but also enjoy learning it. (Yeah!!) I no longer have to introduce myself, so from this point on I'm helping the English teacher implement his or her lesson plan. At Okawame Jr. H.S. today, I helped teach the students the difference between "I want" and "I have." At Yamane Jr. H.S. last week, we read a story and talked about the pronunciation and meaning of each unfamiliar word.
The lesson at Mugyo Jr. H.S. last Thursday was about poetry. I helped the students write a poem similar to a haiku. Here's one of the students with her completed poem:
And I wrote several of my own poems. One of them was about my brand-new cell phone and another one about my boss, Yamadate. (When I gave the poem to Yamadate, he was flattered! haha.)
Hard to use
I must learn how
I must learn how
Makes me laugh
Never a dull moment
As much as I like going to the middle schools, the super cute elementary kids have a special place in my heart.
At the elementary school I went to yesterday, there was an adorable little girl who said to me, "Hello. How are you? I'm fine, thank you, and you?" Haha! The little kids always get so excited to see me and have so much energy.
I just can't help but enjoy teaching them English. (Yeah!!)