Today I am going to make note of everything I do at work, and report it here in order to show what a typical work day looks like for me. Warning: tediously mundane tasks may be reported.
8:10 – Arrive in the teachers room on time, despite having to walk due to flat bike tire.
8:15 – Try to listen to morning meeting, but don’t manage to understand much. As usual. One of my 3rd year JTEs tells me that 2 of my 4 classes are cancelled today. My first class now isn’t until third period (10:55) so I have some time to kill. Spend some time browsing news on the internet.
8:45 – Decide to make this blog post, spend a couple minutes writing this far.
8:48 – Reevaluate what I’ve prepared for tonight’s English conversation class.
9:50 – Spent the last hour preparing another print out for the conversation class. Tonight’s theme: buses and trains. Have a map of my hometown’s bus route, and some Japanese train schedules. Practicing things like “Take the 7 o’clock train and transfer at Kanabe” and things like that.
9:53 – Found out from the same 3rd year JTE which classes I’ll be teaching tomorrow and Friday: not many. Just 1 tomorrow and 2 Friday. Maybe the special needs teacher will steal me for a class, but it looks like it’s going to be a pretty slow week.
10:00 – Chat with one of the 1st year JTEs for a few minutes about my lesson for the 3rd year classes today.
10:07 – Not a lot productive to do until class now. Back to browsing the net.
10:50 – Go to 3rd year class. They’re currently preparing for their mid-term exams, so the activities are review. First I read sentences to the class such as “This is the thing we use on rainy days,” then in groups they would have 30 seconds to come up with an answer. Afterwards the students unscrambled sentences in the form of word cards that I spent all Monday preparing (cutting them out is a lot of work). The class went very well.
11:45 – Changed to another 3rd year class. Same activities, but this group of students didn’t seem to have quite the aptitude of the previous class. That or they were all starving, and waiting for lunch. This is my last class of the day.
12:45 – Return to the teacher’s room for lunch. The fruit cup contains frozen peaches over frozen yogurt, pretty yummy. (Pictured)
1:15 – Spend some time reorganizing the word cards that the students returned. They’re in mostly good shape, but I have one extra “we” card whose origin I can’t figure out.
1:40 – A 2nd year JTE gives me one class worth or vocabulary tests to mark with the promise of more to come tomorrow. This has happened twice before, both times taking up quite a few hours of time. Probably beats doing nothing though.
1:50 – Make copies of the various print outs I will be needing for the English conversation class.
2:02 – Mark those vocabulary tests.
2:22 – 3rd year JTE stops by my desk to ask whether the correct sentence would be “We wear it on festivals” or “We wear it at festivals”. I take a couple minutes to explain the difference. Continue marking tests.
2:55 – Almost fall asleep marking tests. Get a glass of water and step outside for a minute. Back to tests.
3:31 – Finish marking tests just in time for the end of classes.
3:35 – Cleaning time. The happy music tells us that it’s time to sweep! I help to sweep the floor in the teacher’s room, as usual.
3:45 – Cleaning time ends. The student I’m helping prepare for a speech contest this weekend could now show up at any time. Don’t have much to do; browsing the net.
4:00 – Student shows up and we practice his recitation in the broadcast club’s room. He’s doing very well, and I’m looking forward to the competition on Saturday.
(4:15 is the official end of my work day)
4:27 – Finish practicing with the student and pack up to go home. I’ll try to relax a little before my English conversation class at 7:00.