Finding My Footing

The beginning of the school year is always a hectic time for teachers.  New students, new teachers, new classes.  For me, I’ve had a major schedule change and am now working with a new teacher who has his own style when working with an ALT.  As I am struggling with that, I also have little down time due to my new schedule.  Not only am I now teaching the third years, I also have a much more balanced schedule.  Last year I only have two classes (out of six) on Mondays and Fridays.  Now I have four classes almost every day.  (My lightest day is still 3 out of six.

Still, the fact that my schedule is so wonderfully balanced this year is amazing.  I don’t have any more 5-hours-of-sitting-at-my-desk days.  But I did manage to get a lot of this years’ planning done over spring break, so the periods I do have free are really free.  It’s amazing.  I’ve managed to regain some of the energy I had at the beginning of last year and I hope I can hold onto it for a while.

I also only have one class that is a black hole of awfulness.  I try to be peppy in there, but they are so poorly behaved that I just can’t muster my normal level of ridiculousness.  I feel bad because the students who do behave don’t get the benefit of my normal ALT-self.  I have to find a way to just ignore the bad students and push through.  My only solace is that I’m not the only teacher struggling with this class.  They are notoriously badly behaved.

But overall, things are looking up.  Most of my classes are running smoothly, the MAJET board just finished our last big event of the year, and my weekly routine is fairly set.  (I love and need routine most of the time, so this is a very good thing.) Mondays are taiko, Tuesdays are my conversation club night, Wednesdays are rock climbing, Thursdays are taiko again, and Fridays are my nights off.  Saturday and Sunday vary wildly from week to week, but I tend to have at least free evenings throughout the week.

Next week is Golden Week, which means we will all have about four days off.  Golden Week falls on mostly week days this year, so we got really lucky.  I’ve been looking forward to my Golden Week trip for the past month (before that I was looking forward to my trip home.  I can only direct my looking forward-ness on one thing at a time, apparently).  Three of us will be taking a “road trip” (And by road trip, I mean train trip) around Kyushu.  By the end of the trip I will have finally been to all of the prefectures on my island.  Expect plenty of pictures and stories in the coming weeks.

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