A Reason to Teach

After writing about aspects of the Japanese school system for the past two days, I really wasn’t planning on going on about schools today. After all, I need to talk about comic books and movies. Maybe plug some of my other projects, such as a novel and assorted podcasts. But, this week was the first of the 2017 school year, and I have some thoughts.

First, a little bit of background. At the elementary school I work out we offer English lessons for all six grades. That said, first and second graders used to only get a quick lesson once a month. It was there to have some fun, play some games, and get them used to the idea of English class. An English appetizer, if you will. Third grade is when actual, regular English classes begin.

Today we had the first third grade lesson of the year.

Children who are excited about learning are beautiful. They just are. I don’t know any other way to describe it. And at third grade, the children I am lucky to teach are eager to learn. Don’t get me wrong. These aren’t perfect little angel children. They get chatty, have short attention spans, goof off. They’re kids. But they still like the idea of learning.

At the end of this first day we played a simple game. Stand up, say hello and tell your name to three friends. Then sit down. The first cluster of desks with all students sitting down first, wins.

Seeing 36 little students literally vibrating with joy at just putting their English to use is a great way to end the work week.

Sometimes I dream about what it would be like to actually be able to work full time writing my books. I tell myself it would be awesome to devote myself to my craft that way. And it would be. But I also think I would miss the classroom too much to just walk away from it.

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