On Wednesday we woke up and readied ourselves for a visit to a local Japanese Elementary School. I was feeling a lot of different emotions on this morning! Nervous. Excited. Scared I would cry from missing my kids, while being around other children. I was also still very worried about my friend, Hannah (who had went to the hospital the previous day). There was a lot going on inside myself. But, all that aside… it turned out to be a good day. Slightly awkward day, but still good.
It was a slightly awkward day, because I didn’t really know where to put myself. I felt gigantic in these tiny schools and all of the kids either were very interested in us… or just ignored us completely! I wasn’t sure if some of them were annoyed by our presence or not. When we arrived, we sat awkwardly with the principle and staff (who were extremely nice), but all of us were a little out of sorts and didn’t know what to say without Sensei being there! She’s usually very good at starting conversation.
We split up next and headed to the classes we would be observing. I was paired with a different group than I had originally thought, but I was extremely happy I got to watch the children’s cooking and English class. We weren’t allowed to photograph, but I’ve chosen pictures off of the internet that resembles what I saw. The ages of the students in the photographs might differ greatly from the 8yr old class I had.
This is what the cooking class looked like. The children were separated into about 4/6 different groups and they worked around a station that resembled the one in the photo above. They were boiling eggs and cooking something resembling spinach. They all worked together in making the meal, they boiled their own water, used knives (very delicately), and arranged a beautifully appealing meal for each of the kids in their groups. Then they ate the small meal!
I felt extremely inspired by this experience inside the Japanese schools!! I’d love to teach my kids some of the things I saw being done here. I’m thinking about creating them a fun, learning schedule for when I return to the US. And I’m also feeling mush more inspired to try out homeschooling, honestly.
After this class, it lunch time and then recess! I didn’t eat anything, because I wasn’t feeling that well… but I enjoyed watching and participating in recess. They basically have an open area for all of the classes to run around and do whatever they want to during that time. All of the classes recess at the same time and get to enjoy the company of kids outside of their classroom. It was a little chaotic for my taste though!
After recess, we watched and helped the children clean their classrooms and school hallways. I had heard about this on facebook, and from teachers… but seeing it in action was amazing.
Another thing I’ve love to implement into our home life! … After all of this, we watched an American teacher teach the kids English. I was excited to watch this, because this is the sort of thing I’m interested in doing for about a year in Japan!!! 😀 All-in-all, it was a pretty enlightening and wonderful day!!!!!!