More About My Kids
I wanted to talk about a few more of my kids because my 3rd Years will soon be graduating, and honestly it makes me pretty sad.
At Asahi Junior High I love all the kids. There are only 59 of them, so I have a relationship with nearly every kid...in that we've had a conversation or two, or shared a laugh. None of them act up in English class, regardless of whether or not they actually like it. I really appreciate this.
Again, I do have a few favorites though, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite 3rd Years.
Sayuri is extremely friendly, and was the first student to actively engage with me when I first came to the school. As you can imagine with only 59 kids they can be kind of quiet and shy, but Sayuri always made sure to say hello to me or smile at me or whatever, and you can't imagine how much of a difference this makes when everyone else (adults included) is trying their hardest to ignore you. Since then she's become the person I most often eat lunch with. The Asahi students aren't as ready to speak English to me as their Kanagi counterparts, but Sayuri understands English really well.
Anna is quiet and smiley. In fact if I only look at her funny I can make her laugh. She's pretty great at English, but she constantly plays it down and panics when I try to have more advanced conversations with her. She's also the target of playful bullying from the rest of the kids because she's prone to hysterics. It's especially cute to watch the boy who clearly has a crush on her give her a hard time.
Speaking of crushes, Masumi originally used to joke around with me all the time, having probably the best English of all the kids, but now she's more or less paralyzed because she's developed quite a crush on yours truly. What can I say, I have a power over 14-year-old girls. She's extremely sweet though, and she gave me chocolate on Valentine's Day, so I can't complain. She gets called a "yankee" all the time, which is a label Japanese people give other Japanese people who act "Western." I just like to think of "yankees" as the kids who haven't sacrificed their personalities to fit in.
Miyuki is perhaps my favorite student of all. She's painfully shy around me, and as she often admits (in English, mind you) "I don't speak English." She's the one who penned the funny comic about Gabe liking maid uniforms and school swimsuits. She's only recently begun having conversations with me, mostly in Japanese, but I think everything she says is pretty hilarious, even when it's unintentional. She once answered an essay question along the lines of "Do we need more PE class?" with the response "I don't like to run. I can live without more running." In a way she kind of reminds me of myself at her age, and I think that's why I like her so much. She's really smart, but she doesn't necessarily apply herself all the time. She does give me her extra food at lunch though, and that's what's important.
So yeah, those are more of my kids. The Asahi crowd is totally different from Kanagi, which makes me really glad I'm able to experience teaching in both schools. I'm sad to see the 3rd Years go, but thinking about the fresh-faced group of 1st Years that will appear in a few weeks warms my heart a little.