Saturday, 27 April 2019

Restored To Teacher Settings



Hello! It’s been a minute but now I’m back! I have been away from this space for too long, so please forgive me. It’s amazing to see how the number of views increased even when I was on my self-awarded sabbatical. Wow, thank you so much for hanging in there, I’ll make an effort to be more engaging. 
So, let me try to fit in the past six months or so into this blog post. Since the last time that I posted, I’ve received my TKT results- Band 4, 3 and 3 respectively, I took the CELTA course and got a Pass B, completed my teacher training program and graduated from Hokkaido University of Education, Asahikawa and I am now a Language Instructor with Interac Japan, assigned to two Japanese Junior High Schools to teach English. Phew! 

My one year of teacher training sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education was great. I learned a lot from observing English language lessons but I did not get any chance to teach English. I am so elated and grateful for another chance to further understudy the Japanese Educational system, this time as an EFL teacher. This is a career-dream come true for me as I have always aspired to experience teaching abroad, learn all the good stuff as a means to achieving my main career goal- contributing to the professional development of teachers in Nigeria and invariably, to building the educational sector. I will be sharing my experiences and try to carry us along on this journey and I suggest you turn on your post notifications so you don’t miss out on the yummy stuff. 

That said, let’s get down to it. So, this week I reverted to default settings as I returned to the other side of the classroom. I was surprised to feel the heebie-jeebies, I mean, I’m a CELTA certified, experienced English teacher!  At least that’s what my LinkedIn profile says LOL! It was so bad that I barely slept a wink as I worried about whether or not my school will receive me well, I wondered if my students had ever met a black person before and if they’ll respond to me well and blah blah blah. Note that I was fully prepared for my first lesson, with more than enough materials but I guess anxiety happens to the best of us. 

Anyways, my school received me warmly! The welcome notes left on the table and the shoes and coat lockers calmed me down a bit. Still, I couldn’t wait to meet the people I was employed to serve. Fast forward to my first class, first grade class of about 40 students. As the JTE (Japanese teacher of English) readied the class and introduced me, I got a moment to breathe and smile as I scanned the classroom. Spurred on by the curiosity in the shy eyes that looked away as our eyes met and the daring ones who stared back as if to say “bring it on”, I bellowed “hello” in my most impressive teacher voice and history was made! My first class was fun, and every other class after that- well all but one. Getting one of the third-grade groups to respond was like pulling teeth!  They seemed more resistant but no worries we’ve still got one whole year to go!   

Let me quickly say that teaching English in an EFL setting could be very frustrating as you desire to reach and connect with your students who do not speak English at all and are resistant to learning a language which they have no chance to speak outside the classroom and consider an extra burden. You are their gateway to this whole new world shrouded in a foreign language and the only chance they probably get to practise is with you so do your best with it and help them to love learning English!

To cut the long story short, all my experience and training didn’t fail me as I used gestures, a lot of pictures, ICQs, acted silly, and danced at some point to reach my students. Of course, I pulled out my trump card: showing great interest in the students’ interest which worked out well as always. The atmosphere lit up as I asked the students about their favourite anime/music/games. Lots of hands went up when I asked them to recommend me good ones to pass time during the golden week (10-day holiday from April 27th till May 6th) and I passed a book around for them to write their recommendations in. One student took it a step further and brought me three of her favourite comic books the next day. 

Ten lessons later, 5 lunchtime engagements in between, I am fully back to English teacher mode and going to rock the golden week like a boss as I prepare to meet my other students at my second school after the holidays. 
I need to end this post now because I’ve got a busy holiday schedule ahead you see. I’ll be reading comics, watching anime and listening to music recommended by my kids. 

Please leave a note in the comment section, let me know you got to this point. 

Let's travel this road together!  



3 comments:

Unknown said...

Sweet class mode for you. My 1st school's got little angels (very eager to learn too) and the members of staff are super nice. Oh dear, my 2nd school? Tiny daring demons, but I showed them my sweet witch side. And we all got even...congratulations Lola Onyenkuzi 1 of Japan.

Teacher Lola said...

Thank you for your comment! Let’s see how the second school goes I may be hitting you up for the sweet witch side activation code LOL!

Ekeoma Ude said...

Nice!!! You'd surpass the expectations you've placed on yourself and those your employers and students as well. This is said both in faith in God as well as faith in your abilities and skills. Shine!!!

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