Is it bad to say I have favorites in the class, and a trio that I loathe? Hina, Ryo, and Hibi are great kids - so sweet. Ryo and Hibi are extremely sharp learners and love drawing puzzles; Hina draws me cute things and acts as my translator. All three speak English very well.
And then there are the three. Ko, Kou, and Hime. OMG, they’re such monsters. AT first I excused their rambunctious behavior as post-vacation excitement, but as the days continued I saw it was their regular regime. They don’t listen, they’re rude (I try praising them for things they do, but they literally turn their backs on me after I say it) barely speak English to me even when I’m asking them to answer questions that they know; I know the boys can speak some, but they choose to not answer me; Hime, I just found out today, can barely count and only say a handful of English, such as a fearful “no” (as in, when I tell her I’m taking her to see M for yet another infraction she’s done in the class). I can’t feel badly for her, because she chooses to act out with the boys, even when she’s afraid of seeing M for misbehaving, and not apply herself. Today I had to send all three of them to see M; M says they’re just like that. I don’t give a flying fuck - they’re disrupting the class. If I had my way, I’d kick them out and never allow them back into the school.
So all in all, a day there consists of having M come tell you to do things that you already know, washing your hands with freezing water, contending with Ko, Kou, and Hime, and listening to screaming children. Recess is a nice break because they can tear up the playground all they want. The kids like playing a game with me called Oni-Goko, which is tag. The “it” person is the oni, or demon, and has to catch players. I can find myself playing multiple games of it with different players.
I like things in order. I’m not saying I’m an organized person - I believe seriously I have ADHD or something - so organization helps push me in the right direction. Having only worked at the school for less than a week showed me that the place was inserious need of set rules. Such can be said for juku, the Japanese “cram school” in which 4 sets of about about 6 older students take 40-minute private classes from me on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. As hard as this may sound, juku students aren’t required to bring in notebooks, or even have lesson books. WHAT?! How can they retain any lesson if they can’t write it down or practice at home? The school is happy as long as I sit there and show them flashcards.
Getting back to the kindergarten situation… no organization, and M doesn’t know what she’s doing. The place is run like it’s JUST opened its doors for business. I noticed there weren’t simple alphabet letters on the walls for the kids to look at. I asked M if you knew if there were any, as the teacher resource books are scattered in the shelves; she told me to look in the books. I then asked for a hole puncher, having brought my dull one into the office; M gave me back the one I’d returned, unable to find hers. I tried laminating a calender, but I accidentally caused the lamination machine to jam; M complained and told me it was broken and just left, while the assistant Masu calmly removed the jam. M, who’s representing the school while my employer is away, runs around with other things on her mind, unable to think of the here-and-now.
My first night of juku was a nightmare. I had to wing everything, and the kids were as prepared as I was. In total there were about 25 kids that night, all without name tags. I had to get them to write their names on a whiteboard, but I’ve already forgotten them. It lasted three hours. I was extremely happy to return home that night.