Teaching in Sendai
Welcome to Sendai and to the world of English Education. For many of you I imagine the coming year will be a great challenge as I assume this will be your first experience with teaching. Even if you have spent some time in the classroom, I expect you will find some of the teaching methods and school structure quite different from your home countries. With this in mind, let me first say that the most important thing to remember is that we are here to help. In the coming months in your classrooms you may feel like you are doing very little to help the students improve. I often felt that way most of my first year, but the truth is that even the smallest things we do or say can have some effect on the lives of the students and teachers.
The best advice I can give is to stay positive and get active within the school. Stay after school and watch the club activities, learn a new sport like kendo or try out ikebana. If you can play an instrument join the brass band. Or you can join the students at lunch and play with them during the breaks. In some schools they may have an extra room or use the library for a place to hang out and get to know your students on a more personal level. Find out what they are interested in and use this information in your lessons.
When you are at a loss for what to do, attend one of the educational seminars. We are lucky here in Sendai to have an educational advisor. Talk with the educational advisor about lessons and ideas or take out a book from the Shidoka Library to get new ideas and inspiration for your classes. Also check out the online database of activities here on our website. Share your ideas and learn from your friends, and I am sure that you will find ways to manage your classes.
Things to Bring
Finally, before coming I strongly advise you to bring lots and lots of pictures and physical objects you can show your new students. Anything will help, pictures of your family, neighborhood, local market, pet or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend. Post cards are also helpful and if possible get these materials laminated before or after you arrive. Bring a flag, your favorite team`s jersey, sports wear, an instrument you play, your year book, anything you can think of that will help tell your story! I guarantee you'll be able to use these over and over. I also recommend reading up on the history of your state, province, country etc... Find out about the population of your hometown, state, capital city and so on. Be able to explain the geography and climate. What are the average temperatures? How much snow do you get in winter or how hot is it in summer? Be ready for these kinds of questions and many more!
Keep in mind that we are here to assist in English education but we also are acting as ambassadors or our countries. Keep an open mind, stay positive, remember to smile and have a good time! Good luck and see you soon!