Today's the first day of school! I still don't know how to be a teacher! Holy crap!! What the hell was I thinking?!
so i survived the first day of school at tsurui jr. high. not only did i find the school, but i managed to find parking without killing anyone. there weren't any real classes, and it looks like i won't actually have any of those until sometime near the end of next week (the kids have tests for the first few days back, apparently). today, it was just the teachers' meeting where i practiced my speech in front of the faculty (and got a little help on a tricky sentence from one of the english teachers). the english teacher i talked to, ise-sensei, was very nice, and gave me a chart with all the teacher's names and seating arrangement on it so i can learn who is who more quickly. i'll be spending the next week at that school, so hopefully i'll have everybody's names and subjects down by then. next was the start of the year ceremony where the kyoto-sensei (vice-principal) told the kids everything in my speech before i gave it (sneaky trick!), but at least they got to listen to me say it in English first. what was worse than giving away the speech though was that he told them all i was zyoozu at japanese! now they know they don't have to speak english with me to communicate. oh well, i'll just have to find another way to motivate them to practice english with me. i found out the school is surprisingly small--all three grades together is still less than 130 students. they sang the national anthem, the school anthem, there were some awards i didn't understand, and then it was pretty much go back to the teacher's room for another hour and then go. went to the board of ed. to get some paperwork done on my car insurance, and that was it for today. still don't feel like a teacher yet, being that i didn't teach anything, but i'm sure it'll start happening soon...thanks again to everyone for all the encouraging comments and advice. you guys are the best. let's hope you're all right! hehe.