April began with the start of the new school term. After mike left we had a welcome party for the new teachers who replaced the teachers who left. Its a thing in Japan. Teachers change schools in high school every 5-7 years. Contracts on Islands are a little longer than the main land and longer than the elementary and junior high schools too. Theres a lot of teacher shuffling and having to get used to new staff. With all the shuffle my supervisor changed, even though they didn’t leave the school. It was more of a workload concern. Funny thing is my new supervisor had a Canadian ALT before me too! Lol. She’s super nice and knowledgeable and were almost the same height! We had some great food and I went to the nomikai after and sang some good songs and impressed the new principle and vice principle with my one Japanese song. Then on the way home I shared a Taxi with them. I felt like I was the oreo icing to all the big wigs in my school! Lol.
After that I had an easter party on the weekend with the ALTs and a wonderful lady I met at English Conversation club for the adults on Iki! I actually got to go to my first club meeting just after mike left and We talked about books and movies with awards. It was really fun! The leader of the club is a retired English teacher from Koukou. He’s super kind and friendly. The cherry blossoms were out if full bloom and it was wonderful to see and take pictures. The ALTs all got together on Sunday and had a Hanami viewing party in Ashibe. Hanami is flower + see = flower viewing. We got blankets and tarps and sat beneath the trees at a shrine and had a chicken and other things picnic! It was really fun!
School started the following week and with all the beginnings of classes I just had to prepare for introduction lessons once the teachers got settled and into the groove of things. It was a little tough sitting at my desk all day and I started to feel the pains of it in my back. This would lead me to start a workout goal for May, but it’s not May yet on the blog… too yea! Mike and I started watching Firefly via LINE and totally felt love sick and home sick and all those things you feel when you have a great time together after so long apart and have to be separated again. It took the whole month of April and the Golden week in May to help me get over it.
I tried to colour eggs with the English club at Koukou, and discovered why you want vinegar for the dye and the eggs. Because even after 2 hours of holding the eggs they look like pale things… lol. But the kids had fun and we gave them some chocolate after too. I prepped a lot go holiday comparison for the English board at Shougyou too. See in Canada we only have the Easter Holiday, but in Japan, because the school years starts in April they have a short spring break between terms and then they have Showa day (which happened to be on a weekend…) May has the most holidays though with the Golden week which is a string of 3 holidays in a row which many people end up taking the whole week off to go places. On the weekend I went to the port of Matsumoto to do banking… but I sort of broke the ATM and couldn’t get any money out… so I went to this market instead and it was really cute and Japanese! I still don’t know why there was a small festival going on but I was really happy to have seen it. After, I met with Jesse to visit a few shrines and then we had Raman at this local place in Ashibe. It was reallllly delicious.
I taught about 2 lessons in April for each class at Shougyou. Introduction lessons and games and then a restaurant lesson from the text book. Then I began prep on the listening test as midterms begin next week. At Koukou I taught a few more, I did intro, then using the text book we did self introductions, interests and interviews with the students. Its been really fun getting to know what they like. I also am teaching an extra class this year in the 3rd grade. I have 3-4 class at Koukou 2 times a week as they are a new English conversation class and We get to get them speaking English throughout the lesson! I hoping to be able to help them some more! Above you’ll see the pictures for excursion day. This was a day the the entire school walks to a local field or park and has a school wide contest. This year it was class jump rope. The classes competed for the most number of jumps completed by the entire class on one loooong rope! It was hilarious and fun! At the end, the winning team competed against the teachers. I still feel that they had an unfair advantage. The students practiced all morning… we did it on a whim… lol. The students clearly won. Then there was a King Janken against the school principle and after lunch we went into groups! Some stayed at the field and played. I went with the group to Dolphin Park! I finally got to see it!! I was sooo excited! They have this feeding time where they get the dolphins to do tricks and jumps for snacks! I was so excited I went a second time on my own the next day (because it was a Saturday!) After fun time we all cleaned 3 areas of the park, the parking lot, the field and the path to dolphin park. Then the students jogged back to school and some of us drove. I did vouch for the drive, my feet were killing me lol.
I didn’t really travel much in April because of my Tokyo tour, but I came up with a budget plan with my friend to help me conserve my money and start paying back student loans. After that we went to some shrines and toured the East side of Iki. We ended up having Raman in Ashibe at a place close to his house and then we went back to watch the Ridiculous Six! soon funny. I played more Paper Mario with Rachel and all us girls when to a park to do our last Hanami with a new teacher on the Island. They opened a school on Iki for graduates who want to go into nursing or something and they hired a teacher. She lives next to Graeme and Jesse so we hang out some times now. Well this viewing party started with lunch at Mocha Java in Katsumoto. Then it went to the middle of the island for the cherry blossoms and snacks. Then because it started raining, we came to my house to bring the blankets in and then take them to the laundry mat to dry… After that I played at Rachel’s on the wii and we all had homemade Becky Pizza! it was a lot of fun! I went to the Katsumoto morning market for the first time too and got a bunch of veggies. I loved the local feel.
At first I didn’t have plans for Golden week, but after having dinner with Rachel one night at Pecorino’s I loved her plans to go to Kobe for the JET Christian Fellowship Retreat so I booked my planes and packed my bags and at the start of Golden week in May thats where I went. but I’ll talk more about that in May’s blog.
That’s all for now!