Thursday, June 25, 2009

And then it was just me

So they won't be replacing Nathan. And what's worse is that when I asked if we will change schools in September they told me it was possible. I don't wannaaaaa switch schools. I love my schools! Even the school with the crazy "will you come and record a listening test at 5:30 or maybe on Saturday" English teacher. And I especially don't want to leave Tobu ES whose has the nicest, genkiest, sweetest school nurse and head teacher who force feed me medicine when I'm sick and give me back rubs and insist on me going home when I am done with classes. And I love my fifth graders who write things like "It's always fun when Jennifer-sensei comes" and think chicken is the funniest word they have ever heard.

And I would hate to leave Takatmatsu ES where Urara in the fourth grade gives me a sheet out of her memo pad after every English class, (I have tons of papers and little origami creations from students tucked in all of my files,) and the third graders call me Jenny-chan. I would hope they wouldn't move me from Tahara JHS and Tobu JHS but they might and then I'd never get to see Miyu dance Saturday Night Fever or hear Nanami ask "what's up?"

I shouldn't really whine. It's unprecedented that I have stayed at these schools as long as I have. Before I got here the ALTs moved around every 6-12 months. This was mostly because there was one idiot ALT that none of the schools wanted, so they juggled everyone around so no one school was stuck with him long-term and eventually he wasn't allowed to teach in elementary school at all because of a slight overreaction to a playground kancho (where students poke you in the butt with their two index fingers.) And by overreaction I mean apparently he grabbed a kid and shook him pretty hard.

But he's gone now! And I'm here and my schools love me and I love them and I really see no need to change them. Nathan has five schools like me but two of them we share, so really that's only 3 elementary schools or 4 days a month to cover between the remaining 4 ALTs. Surely the schedule can be manipulated to where none of us have to switch. Now I know what Japanese teachers feel like every year in March when they aren't sure if they will stay where they are at or be transferred to another school. And it sucks.

I'm praying that I get to stay where I'm at. If I have to deal with being by myself all day with no other Americans to talk to after work other than Vanessa (who is often not around) then I don't want to have to do it with brand new teachers and students as well. It takes time for me to work up a real rapport with people, even longer when it's in Japanese. I keep trying to tell myself that next year is going to be just fine, but I'm not very hopeful. Nathan will be gone. My friends are too busy to see me. And now my schools might change. Ugh, ugh, ugh.


  1. But I will be there in September, and I will help you make friends!

    Poor Jenn, that would be awful to have the future so uncertain, especially in such a foreign place. You're one of the strongest, bravest people I know, though, so I'm not worried about you.

    Still... sending you a hug from Chicago!

  2. Aww thanks! I needed a hug and be sure to collect the real thing when I see you this summer.

    And I'm so super hyper excited beyond words that you are coming to visit. We are going to have SOOOOOOOOOOO much fun!