Blog 3. Thursday 28th May 2009.
28.05.2009 - 28.05.2009 20 °C
I wasn't going to write another blog, until later, until i had more to say. However, its 00.28am, Im listening to the monsoon style rain batter off my window and im struggling to get 40 winks. So in light of that, im playing a mix of 'Boards of Canada' and 'Billion Dollar Gravy' by 'London Elektricity' to inspire me to get my mental-blog flowing from head-to-fingers-to-internet.
I thought it best, not to pass judgement on teaching or even begin to throw my opinion out there, until i had at least started to get into it. I still dont consider myself a teacher by a long shot, and anyone who knows me well, will probably think the word 'teacher' and my name would never be uttered in the same sentence!!
Whats interesting in this day and age, is that the English language can probably be found in just about any country...to varying degrees. English speaking countries aside, I believe in any country on Earth, you will be able to find some form of the English language, may it be - a lot of people speaking it, a few people struggling with it, English written around towns and cities, TV shows in English or just someone being able to say ''I dont speak any English''.
English seems to be cementing itself as the global language of choice, despite the fact it is probably a distant 3rd of Languages spoken in the world, behind Spanish and of course Chinese.
I work for a company called Shane English Schools Japan. Who are pretty much solely based in the Greater Tokyo area. I was told Shane, was a relatively small company in Japan, in terms of the competition. But in my opinion it is fairly big, has a lot more schools than i thought, and a lot more teachers than i thought, spread over a city which turns out takes a lot longer to traverse than you may think.
Most things in life you could be coached, given advice, given opinions, briefed and prepped on until your sick of it and people are blue in the face from this. However, the ressounding bottom line is, if your thinking of giving something a shot, you need to experience it yourself and call it how you see it once you've done it!
Shane as an English language company, openly wants to encourage as many people to learn English as possible. They cater to just about anyone, from 2 years old to...well as long as your not dead, we'll give it a shot at teaching you!
The Students could be anywhere from a 2year old whos forced into this strange environment and doesnt know where he/she is, on top of this doesnt know much Japanese let alone English, and has some crazy giant gaijin (foriegner) bark numbers and colours at them!! Now thats some Trippy shit, especially for having barely entered the world!
The other end of the spectrum might be a retired man/woman who is just looking for some company and a hobbie, something to look forward to or take up time! Everyone inbetween, well they're a strange mix of folk, some good some bad, but they're all here for one reason (im starting to sound like im introducing a reality show!).
I knew when i ''signed up'' to this so to speak, that i would be teaching (or attempting to) both adults and kids. Neither i had any expectation for, but i knew i wasnt a big fan of kids, and they would probably be more than a handful. Some people argue, Japanese children - ''Oh arent they so well behaved''. To be honest kids are kids, no matter where they're from!!
I probably, have about 60% Adults 40% kids, depends how you look at it, because kids usually hunt in packs....i mean come in groups and adults are generally private.
My first day ''on the job'' well what can i say?! I can say (Without in Anyway trying to list things iv done and almost sound boastful) i have held a very deadly spider, jumped out planes before, bungee jumped off a skyscapper and ran and got hit by bulls, i will jump at the chance to do anything thrill seeking. My point is that these things, are exciting to me, generally your meant to get horribly scared when doing them (ok the bulls i was a bit scared) but My first day teaching....I've never shat myself in my life. I was ready.Ready to Jump out the Fucking Window!
....Luckily, i didn't and i saved the good people of Kyodo that day a strange Splattered Gaijin on their very clean streets!
I have already rambled on too much.
Teaching kids, definetely takes patience with children of 11yrs and under, and i take my metaphorical hat off to anyone of any country to has to deal with kids for an extended period of time on a daily basis! its tough work, but some of them are quick learners...although some are quick to get on your piss you right off.
On the flip side, we have Adults. Adults on the whole are a joy to teach! I've met some extremely interesting people. People from various stages in their lives and with various jobs. Adults who obviously come to learn voluteraily are very appreciative for you being there to help them. They all have different reasons for coming, some might be businessmen needing to improve their English because it is the 'Neutral' language of business globally and might help them get promoted if they can get better at communicating. Or students, who are interesting in travelling abroad and want to be able to speak to people they meet. Or housewives or husbands who either need a hobby, or want to get away from their spouse for a while! They also all have different levels of English from very low Beginner (which iv not encountered) Foundation, Elementary, Pre-intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate and Advanced. Which obviously goes from the very basic greetings of starting out, to really dissecting the language, in ways that i dont think are that important.
I've so far given my best attempt at this thing, I wouldnt say I've ever really been particularly good at many things, more of a...Jack of all trades - Master of none! I am.
Although, il see how this continues to unfold...
Take it easy.