I gave my introduction speech today to the entire student and teacher body today. Over 1,000 students!!! Wowie. I've been floating around for the past two days chatting and getting to know the students while they were in their tournaments, so at least it wasn't too too nerve wracking.
Luckily the speech was at the closing ceremonies for the Sports Festival, so the students were pumped up about the games and were super genki! When the teacher made the introductions and then invited me on stage the crowd went WILD. hahaha... I gave my speech in Japanese which drove them nuts, every word i said they were screaming and cheering at the top of their lungs. I've never felt like such a celebrity! Towards the end of my introduction, I taught them a bit of sign language: Hello! How are you? I'm fine! Then... See you later alligator! They were SCREAMING... Now in the hallways whenever the kids see me in the hallway they scream: SEE YOU LATER ALLIGATOR!!!!!! along with the big chomping sign. It's pretty hilarious.
I think sign language is a great way for the kids to build confidence to come and talk to me. They are terrified to use English so this way they can come up to me and use sign without having to speak. Then slowly we can work English in!
Next week I have to give my self introductions to each class separately. I have 8 classes at this base school and then on Wed and Thursday I will have my first day at my other high school, where I will have to do all of my introductions again!