Thursday, 25 February 2010

Your Japanese word of the week is...

"au" 会う which means "to meet".  And tonight I met (some) parents at the school's "Meet The Teacher" night.

It wasn't anything particularly lengthy since the parents would visit each of their student's 4 teachers for 10 minutes at a time, and not many showed up (3 parents in one of my classes, and 5 in the other) but it was nice to see that some parents have an interest in their child's education.  Even more interesting is that sometimes the similarities are apparent and you can almost guess who their child is as soon as they walk in the door.

Otherwise, it's business as usual at the school.  I'll be finishing up one of my Science 10 classes and switching to Science 9.  Covering Biology...  including the human reproductive system.  That'll be good for a few laughs =P

In other news, Canada's Olympic medal haul continues to climb.  And congrats to the Canadian Women's Hockey Team on their gold medal win over the US!

Next up?  The Canadian Men's Hockey team as they take on Slovakia in the semi-finals...

Here's the entire Team Canada roster.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Your Japanese word of the week is...

"kibishii" 厳しい which means "strict".  Obviously, when tied in with teaching, the context sort of explains itself.

But really, I don't think I'm that strict.  Conversely, I don't think I'm strict enough in certain aspects...  but there's the problem.  Just because the class isn't running the way I like it to be doesn't necessarily mean it's "abnormally bad". 

Teenagers are teenagers.  They're physically growing, mentally adapting, hormonally influenced, complicated creatures that deal with a multitude of expectations not only when they go between school and home, but between classes.  I suppose I should be sensitive to those things but the other part of me thinks my expectations are rather reasonable.  Like not talking when I'm talking...  that kinda stuff...

So do I keep it up based on my belief that these expectations are reasonable?  Or do I let off because they need the space?

Personally, I don't want to nor will I let off.  Why?  Because if the rope goes out too far, it'll be impossible to pull it back.  And I'd rather deal with keeping the strictness and wait til they fall into step, at which point we can all enjoy the extra freedom.

But, if you have a different philosophy on teaching, do let me know......  I'm all ears =P

Monday, 8 February 2010

Your Japanese word of the week is...

"yokoso" ようこそ which means "Welcome!".  I figured I'll talk about something other than my pracitcum, since I have another 10 weeks to do that in.

So, in other news, there's this little sporting event called the "Olympics" happening in Vancouver.  Regardless of the controversy, it's close enough that beyond how one personally feels about it, we should at least make an effort to host our guests properly.  It's like having an unwanted houseguest over; you should be mature and polite enough to make do for the duration.

I haven't really decided how I feel about it all.  A part of me agrees that the money could've been better spent elsewhere and a lot of the inconveniences really are....  well.....  inconvenient.  But the other side of me thinks it's exciting that Vancouver can take centre stage as well as being around during the buzz of the Olympic events.

The torch is currently circulating the city and apparently it's quite a sight to behold.  And I've seen some members of the Dutch Olympic team at a shopping mall...  exciting....  =P

In case you don't know what I'm talking about, here's the Vancouver you're missing...

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Your Japanese word of the week is...

"mada" まだ which essentially means "still" or "not yet/yet", such as "He's not here yet".  Sometimes it's doubled up and, if you've ever watched any anime that includes fighting or persevering somehow, you'll hear them shout "mada mada" as in "I'm not finished yet".

For me, however, it's more like "I've still got a long way to go".

This week saw the actual start of my teaching during long practicum and while it wasn't disastrous (I didn't fall down, for example, nor did the classroom go up in flames), there's still a lot for me to consider, do, and improve on.

The biggest hurdle is not so much "what" is being done in the classroom, but "how" it's being done.  All the minor details and tricks to being efficient, those are the hardest to do because they work differently for everyone.  And they need to work in such a way that I'm comfortable with sticking to them (lateness, homework not done, etc.).

One thing I do like, however, is that I'll be seeing the same classes everyday for at least a month straight, so I can set up routines and build repore- both things I couldn't do on the short practicum.

Some still say I shouldn't be so be critical but really, I don't mind so much as long as every class I'm doing something slightly better.

Luckily, I've got 11 weeks and that's still a ways to go......