“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
It’s been (over) a year in Tokyo. My dream to live in Japan has not only come true, but also been one of my most memorable years in my 23 years of being alive.
Can you believe it? It went by so quickly!
To be honest, I felt like I haven’t done much during my time in Japan. Yet everyone keeps telling me that I’ve done sooooooo much. Let’s see…So far, I have eaten lots of sushi, ramen, and yakiniku. I have traveled to several prefectures such as Okinawa and Hokkaido. I have been to Tokyo Disney enough times that I might as well just get an Annual Passport. I have met dozens of new people, both Japanese and foreigners. I have done so many things during my free time, but most of the time, I have been teaching hundreds of high school students English and about American culture.
I definitely have milked all the free time I have to explore and enjoy Japan. Hopefully I will continue to blog more about my adventures and travels. BUT…I do also want to do more. I’m not referring just to more adventures. I’m talking about doing more with my job.
This next year under JET, I hope to be a better ALT for my students. The school I teach at is very relaxed and the work we do as ALTs is, to be completely honest, really not that much. Since my school does trust me (I think?), I would like to incorporate new teaching techniques and experiences for students. I am not the main teacher in my classes, but some teachers do allow me to have freedom in how I teach the textbook material. While most teachers rarely use technology in the classroom, I would like to incorporate PowerPoint slides and games like jeopardy. I am also adding new learning experiences for those who want to learn more about American culture or English outside of the classroom.
My ideas for this next year include:
- using more visuals such as photos and YouTube clips
- not being afraid to speak only in English to students who look puzzled
- not using the excuse of “they don’t understand me anyways” when introducing new topics
- engaging students inside and out of the classrooms
- having a mailbox for students to drop messages, questions, comments, or feedback
- introducing an aspect of American culture or an English phrase that they won’t learn about in textbooks at the start of class every week in the form of fact cards
- having English “open hour” during lunch two times a week where students can hang out, eat, and chat in English with me
- watching a movie in English with popcorn and pizza once a month
- and many more!
I’m constantly looking for new ideas to try and see how they work in my classes. If you have any ideas, please share with me!