I have been trying to figure out how much the students know about international relations. In the culture festival, I was amazed by their knowledge of geography and flags. There were some countries’ locations and flags that I imagine many Americans would not know. Certain landmarks are known from classes, which should be known by the majority of people. These include the Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, Egyptian pyramids, and the Eiffel Tower.
So, I thought that students would know about Times Square. I was talking about New Year’s in America. Of course, the whole lighted crystal ball dropping extravaganza is known throughout America, but I thought that the famous New Year’s site was general knowledge—almost as common as the assuming common sense. Alas, I was surprised once again. They didn’t know about Times Square. Maybe it was just the few students I was teaching. Then again, I suppose it makes some sense that there are some people here who do not know about Times Square. Since Japan is 14 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, there wouldn’t be footage of the annual festivities at Times Square during their own celebrations. However, during the New Year’s specials in America, footage can be shown of the celebrations from the rest of the world considering America is the last to indulge in its own new year traditions.
As you can see, education is still a major focus for me. Compulsory foreign language classes don’t usually go too well, and that is no exception in Japan. As I mentioned in a previous post, a Japanese student is just like any other student. So, how do I motivate students? Well, I want to motivate the students, but it’s hard to motivate students who don’t take English classes seriously. They take the grammar courses seriously, because grammar is often on the entrance exams for university. However, the classes that I team teach are difficult as the students do not see these classes as very important. It’s more of a fun time or a time to rest. It becomes nap time like in kindergarten. Some students are very motivated and that’s great, but many students aren’t so motivated. Too many students take the class with a grain of salt. Can I change that? I hope so. The great thing is that the Mito HS students are super friendly and forge strong bonds with the teachers. For that, I don’t think it will be too hard to build up the credibility of my classes.
Stay tuned next week for another update!
今週の聖書の詩: “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”
- Matthew 6:2 (NIV)
Christmas time is fast approaching, and this verse is really appropriate. This is my favorite time of the year, and it’s also a very popular time for people to donate to charities. It’s great that people help the needy, but why only during this time? Are you donating for the good of others, or are you doing it to look good? This is not to discourage giving, but give with your heart and not your chin up high.
今週の写真: SUSHI! YUM!