Don't Panic

Okay, hold on a sec. Now I'm going to post something negative on here. DON'T WORRY. One negative thing doesn't mean I'm unhappy or I hate it here in Japan. I just need to balance out all the wine and roses that I've posted since I got here, plus it's about school in general, so it's informative too.

At my one school my JTE is pretty awful. I won't go into all the reasons, I'll just focus on one. On numerous occasions she has come to me asking me to create a worksheet or make a lesson plan. No big deal, right? Well it wouldn't be if this was like a day before the class in question, but usually it's about 20 minutes before the class. Awesome.

So okay. I can deal. I've run off a few crappy worksheets here and there; I've made a sub-standard lesson plan that usually crashes and burns. No biggie.

The bigger problem, however, is that she keeps doing it. And she has the guts to criticize work she's given me almost no time to prepare. She gives me free reign and then says the final product is too hard or the kids won't understand when there's no time to change it.

She also refuses to help me out in these situations. She essentially sticks me up in front of the class and says, "Make them get it." Then she stands back and does nothing when that strategy fails to work.

Now I can't tell if she does it because she's been lazy or if she does it to be mean or what. I would hope it's just her misguided attempts at including me. It's amazing because I sit around literally doing nothing 3 or 4 periods a day and she never thinks to give me work to do unless it's immediately before a class.

The biggest problem (as I see it, and I know I'm crazy) is that this hurts the kids in the long run. They're the ones getting a sub-standard English lesson because my JTE doesn't understand the "team" part of "Team Teaching." Either that or she doesn't understand that she's the default team leader, being that she's actually a teacher and that I'm little more than a goofy foreigner.

People have given me advice on this topic, some of which I've already taken. People have said to talk to her, tell her how I feel. Good idea in theory, however it's hard for me because I don't want to blow up at my JTE and then run through a laundry list of her incompetence. I have a feeling that's what would happen if we "talked it out." Hence this blog post.

Anyway, like I said. Don't panic. I just wanted to let you know that sometimes Japan does suck, but if you know me you'd know that I like being angry, so it's okay. Gives me something to talk about. Plus I'm officially thinking about staying another year...so it can't be all that bad!

This weekend: Halloween Party with elementary kids! We're giving them sugar! Holy shit! There will be pictures of this one!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


One approach would be to use your down time to prepare some materials in advance. That way, you would have some in your "pocket" in the event that you are called upon to "help out". You could even include the troublesome JTE in reviewing your materials. Maybe this will bring you closer together and generate some discussion around her goals and objectives for the class.

A thought.

Anonymous alex said...

Dad's suggestion seems like a sound approach. Although i guess you don't know the topic or direction of the upcoming class, so blind preperation is kind of impossible? Or am I wrong?

And yea, you do like being angry, so enjoy the frustration. Glad to hear things aren't all sunshine and rainbows.

Blogger tom said...

word, i agree with alex. gotta have balance. i mean if i were you, i would just straight up call her out on her bullshit unprofessional attitude. this is an amazing opportunity and this person clearly needs a brick.

also on the alex tip, i served your mother a white wine spritzer last night at this function at the inn. i think she hated me.

darrell: this new my chemical romance rekkid is so over the top it just might actually be...good.

Anonymous alexa said...

I imagine you must really miss your job at the library on days like those and that really really cool boss you had there. You must wonder a lot why this JTE can't be more like Alexa.

Blogger Kenneth Griggs said...

You want me to take care of it Darrell? I know people.

Anonymous isaac said...

One approach would be to cover her in Melty Blood, and see what she does then. I mean...what could she do? Nothing. There you go.

I am full of excellent solutions.


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