My First Teaching Day at a Shougakko (小学校)

By Donnie | Articles

Today (April 11th, 2011) I taught my first Japanese English lesson to a group 23 fifth graders. In a word…terribly. OH MY GOD!! I stayed up late last night poring over my lesson, printing things out, reviewing, and reviewing again just to make sure I was ready. The kids wouldn’t quiet down for anything…no matter what teaching methods I tried. We’re supposed to let the Japanese teachers handle the disciplinary aspect of the class…but it was to now avail 🙁 . The kids were rambunctious! They were running all over the place, throwing paper at each other, throwing paper airplanes at me, fighting, spitting, you name it. I don’t know how I’m going to make it through a whole year of this…it’s only my first week and I’m already spent!


I AM TOTALLY KIDDING! My first day was FREAKING AMAZING! I felt like the kids were so well behaved. There is one child who’s nickname, for some reason, is “dangerous boy.” In the recesses of my brain I was suspecting that he might be one of the bad kids, but that totally wasn’t the case! I actually remember seeing this same child, during our elementary school’s opening ceremony last week, guiding some of the smaller children to their chairs. I don’t know where that “dangerous boy” name comes from, but it’s not from his behavior, he and the rest of the kids had an awesome first day. Like any fifth grade class, they would get noisy when they were excited, but it was very easy to get them to calm back down. I just hope it’s this easy when summer-time rolls around, since I have heard that many schools don’t make much use of air-conditioning, even if they have it available.The kids seemed to be really engaged and really got involved in class, and not just one or two students, either…ALL OF THEM! As they kids participated more and more, I fed off of there energy and felt I was able to have a high-energy, first lesson.

I know I can’t expect things to be rosy everyday, but if this first teaching day is any indicator at all of how the rest of the year is going to play out, then I am one…lucky…dude.


Donald Ash

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  • Roger Starkey

    It’s good conditioning for Karate…running after kids.

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