Friday, August 8, 2008

Teacher/student relationships...

Day 2...
There were even less teachers around on my second day at school. I thought it was going to be just a day on my own to study Japanese and look through more manuals until two super genki (outgoin/friendly) male students came into the staff room and sat down on the floor next to my chair. I could tell they must had seen me earlier in the day and prepared a speech with questions to ask me. Soooooo cute. They wanted to know what music I listened to (they said they only listen to hip hop, eminem and a Japanese band called Teriyaki Boys.) They also wanted to know what sports I played. They asked me for my autograph. And then they wanted to know if I had a boyfriend. Hahahha. I told them no and then they immediately without hesitation asked: "Do you want one?" I laughed and then told them nope. Boyfriends are too much work and trouble. I told them about my volunteer work in Kenya and then I taught them a little bit of Sign Language.

The Vice Principal came over and I thought they were going to get yelled at for 'bothering' me or for us being too loud and laughing - but nope!!! He brought over 2 chairs for the boys to sit in!!!!

Wow... I'm already soooooooo impressed. At my high school in Kenya I was constantly being told that I was too friendly with the students. One of my biggest challenges in Kenya had to be my shaky relationship with the teachers. They wanted me to be stone cold with the students and be a more strict disciplinarian and stick to the teacher/student relationship... but how in the world was I to teach my students about life skills, HIV/AIDS, and about sex if I kept a strict harsh line between us??? So I listened to my gut and my heart and became the best of friends with my students. I barely spent any time in the staff room. I ate with the students, played sports with the students and even hung out in the dorm room with the girls. But because of that we were able to have some really heart to heart talks and bonds about life, sex and AIDS. I wouldn't have changed it for the world.

But I digress. I want to have a strong relationship with both the students AND the teachers here in Japan... and from the look of it - it looks like the teachers do have a close knit relationship with their students and will encourage me to do the same. It will also be good for the students to practice their English - which I have to say is at a very low level. I can't wait to get to know these kids more. :)

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