❤ ハイパーかわいいです！❤ While some schools offer kyushoku (prepared school lunches), my school is primarily bento-based – ie. the kids bring in their own packed lunch made by their parents that morning. These Japanese bentos are usually pretty healthy and super cute – with the kids all having little chopstick sets and table cloths featuring their favourite cartoon characters.
For the last two months the kids at my school have been practicing for their annual ongakukai (music festival). Last year, one particular class blew everyone away by doing a rendition of the Jurassic Park theme tune. This, year each class seemed determined to top that in terms of difficulty, time signatures and overall performance. The school rented out a huge auditorium for the festival – and as each class performed their piece in turn, you would have been forgiven for forgetting […]
It’s a small world. Marching Performance at a Japanese kindergarten. Earlier in the year I posted about my class of five-year-olds performing the Jurassic Park theme tune for the ongakukai (Music Festival). Those particular kids have long since moved on to Elementary School, having been replaced with this year’s batch of nen-cho students. Not to be outdone by their predecessors, these new kids did a marching performance for our annual undōkai (Sports Day) that once again showed how amazingly talented these little guys and girls are.
Love it or hate it. Please read this before applying for a kindergarten job in Japan. Between monitoring stats, comments and emails, one of the most popular topics it seems for people who stumble across this site is information on how to become a kindergarten teacher in Japan and what it entails. So I thought I’d write a bunch of stuff here to give people an idea of what my life’s like on a daily basis. I really like my […]
“The children were crying with fear. It was a success.” These were the first words my coworker said to me as we took off our crudely made demon masks in a storeroom hidden in the back of the school. Half an hour before we had silently descended upon the kindergarten: bursting into classrooms and purposely trying to frighten the kids. This is Setsubun, a festival held the day before the beginning of Spring in Japan. It’s accompanied by a special ritual […]
I can’t remember what I was doing at school when I was five years old but it sure as hell wasn’t as good as this. Friday was the annual ongakukai, or music festival, at my school. Every class had to perform a piece – and just like for the happyokai (performance festival) and undokai (sports festival) the kids practiced every single day for about a month. On the day itself, the homeroom teachers were a mess of nerves, but the […]
Work hard. Play hard. A field trip to the airport – with schoolbags visible from space. My Japanese kindergarten doesn’t do things by halves. Right now the nen-chos are getting ready for their happyokai or ‘performance festival’: an all-day affair that will see each class perform a 30-minute play – in English. These kids are five and six years old. Some might say it’s a lot of pressure, and I guess it is – but moreso on all the teachers who […]
Your job isn’t any more important than mine, asshole. “When are you going to get a real job?” is something that has been said to me a few times in the past. Last night I was in a bar and I got talking to a guy who was a TEFL university lecturer. When I told him I was a kindergarten teacher he replied “oh well.” This kind of response really pisses me off, especially since he had just spent the […]