What Teaching Superpower Do You Have?

I was making my "Wonder Goo" run the other day, it’s this super store with video games, dvds, books, and all kinds of other cool stuff. As I was walking through, being the nerdboy that I am, I stopped because I saw a cool-looking X-Men First Class, DVD display. I watched some of the scenes, and thought about how much I enjoyed the movie when I saw it in the theater. It’s superhero movies like those that take me back to my old comic book days. My brain started making weird connections it always Continue Reading …

Learning Kanji: My Five Kanji Teachers

“BING, BONG, BING, BONG, BING, BONG, BING, BONG.” That grandfather clock-like tone means that cleaning time is over, and it’s time for the noon break. For the last four days my noon break has been a little different than normal. Every day after lunch & shouji I’ve been getting schooled in the ways of Japanese kanji by five, fifth grade girls. Learning kanji isn't always easy, but hearing it from a Japanese kid's perspective was really interesting. These five students were some of my best Continue Reading …

How To Play Kendama (けん玉), Part 1

Japanese bilboquet or Kendama (けん玉) is a game that’s been around for ages...in some way, shape or form, all over the world. Some people call it bilboquet, or the Bilbo Catcher, the cup and ball game, or the ring and pin game**. Since the origins of the game are unclear, I figured it's a good time to make up a Japan Guy story as to how kendama began, so here it goes: **I’ve heard this called bilboquet and the cup and ball game, but not the ring and pin or Bilbo Catcher. Thanks Waterloo Continue Reading …

A Japanese, First Grade Janken Jungle

Today was a really fun day with my first graders. In class today, we were doing the final lesson on animals, so I decided to make it fun for the kids. It's not always easy coming up with new English activities to do in a Japanese classroom, but I thought of something interesting. We did a quick review of some of the different animals I introduced in the last couple weeks back: duck, goose, eagle, owl, tiger, lion, bear, giraffe, etc.. I made the review quick so we’d have time to complete Continue Reading …

Teaching in Japan Troubleshooting: Eek Think Fast!

If you teach in a Japanese public school, that time will invariably come when you have to teach a lesson at the spur of the moment. "Why would you have to teach an English lesson at the spur of the moment?" you ask. As an ALT you have your schedule given to you every week by your dispatch company, right? Well, it really depends on the company you work for. I have no doubt that some companies are going to be better than others at providing you with your weekly schedule. I must say that I Continue Reading …