This month has been the start of the new school year in Japan lots of the students have been going through changes. Some of my elementary school students have now become junior high students, and some of my junior high students have now moved onto high school students. Moreover, those students at Fudoka preschool I received a farewell from in March have now all been replaced by fresh faces. I have now taught them a few times and they seem to be getting more used to me and Teru. They have just got over the initial shock of me being so tall and white, although they were still terrible at guessing where I was from, China or Korea being the top choices. However they still are not completely at ease with us. When we tried some one-on-one questions a few of them froze completely, staring into oblivion. It took a while to jerk some of them out of this trance like state. One good thing is that all our tricks and silly techniques are completely new to them so they seem to find everything hilarious, which is definitely nice and refreshing. Already you can see the kids that are going to excel. I am looking forward to teaching them more.
Last week we attended the entrance ceremony for the newcomers at Kuki kindergarten, so I got to see all the new kids I will soon be teaching there. The ceremony was quite a contrast to the graduation I saw a few weeks previously. Despite their still being tears, there was definitely no order to this group of kids. Although I do not blame them. Most of them were only about 3 years old and this was probably one of the first times they had to act as independent members of society in the absence of their mummy. So most looked incredibly lost, were crying or finding it hard to sit in these stupid chairs that were all lined up facing a stage for some reason. There were speeches from the teachers to introduce themselves and say something like “let’s have lots of fun!”, some even got the kids to try sing along to a song, only to the success of amusing results. Me and Teru had a quick turn to introduce ourselves, putting on a comedy act to break the ice with children. I pretended to ignore their attempts at shouting “hello” acting bemused as if I could not quite hear what I was hearing. After this teaching experience I now feel like I would be a perfect participant to any pantomime. Sign me up!