Archive for category Kawasaki Nova

September 5, 2004 – The insanity continues

The insane scheduling continues! At the end of the day I had to stay an extra 30 minutes to finish writing my files.

After each lesson, teachers are required to evaluate the student’s performance during the lesson. There are a few categories to rank (vocabulary, pronunciation, etc), and then a space for comments. Proper comments should include specific references to both strong and weak points during the lesson, and to provide suggestions on how to improve. Good comments help the next teacher, and also provide information to the students if they request to see their files.

Writing a proper evaluation and comments can take some time. Naturally, doing evaluations and comments for four students takes four times as long.

In the evening classes, there are 10 minutes between lessons. During busy months like September, it is likely for a teacher to have four students in every lesson. If you get out of your lesson a few minutes late, it doesn’t leave much time to squeeze into the overcrowded teachers room, write comments, give files to the next teacher or put them away, and locate your next lesson’s files and room number. That time gets smaller if you need to take a bathroom break. The easiest solution is to write up the student’s files  after the last lesson of the day.

Recently with all of the full classes I have been regularly spending time after the last lesson finishing up my paperwork. It’s no fun, but it needs to get done.

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September 4, 2004 – Too many Andrews from Canada

Once of the recent additions to Kawasaki NOVA is a teacher named Andrew from Canada. Unfortunately for him, I am already Andrew from Canada, and I have been around for almost a year now.

Teachers are usually referred to by their first names by students and staff. In the event that there are similar names, the country of origin comes into play. For example, a branch could have a British Steven and an Australian Steven. Having two Andrews from Canada is guaranteed to cause confusion.

I asked the secondary Andrew what his middle name was, and he said “Archibald”. I asked him if he was okay with people calling him “Archie”. He said yes.

He looked nothing like this

Before he could ask why, I quickly went to the front office and asked the Japanese staff to change other Andrew’s name to Archie in the schedule system. Apparently I now have some level of credibility, because they made the change without question and without confirming with any of the supervisors.

Once again, I am the only and original Andrew from Canada. Victory!

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September 3, 2004 – More September rush

Today was the opposite of yesterday. My afternoon was busy, but my evening was INSANE. So many students!!

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September 2, 2004 – The September Rush

September is the second busiest month at NOVA, and my afternoon was a good example. Lots of full classrooms, lots of new students. My evening was normal, which is to say busy for other branches.

January is the busiest month at NOVA. Apparently a lot of people decide they will study English as a new year’s resolution.

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September 1, 2004 – Too many cameras

Today was my first day back to work after four days off. Urgh! The good news was that I am finally back at Kawasaki NOVA on Wednesdays and have my good kids class back. They were all really great today!

After work I went to buy a digital camera from Yodobashi Camera, which is conveniently located next to Kawasaki NOVA. When I walked into the camera section I realized that I was in completely over my head. There were at least 100 different models in prices ranging from cheap to crazy expensive. I don’t know anything about digital cameras, and my Japanese ability is too limited to have a meaningful conversation with the sales staff. I gave up for the day and went to the internet cafe to do some research. After spending some time online, I think I will be buying a 4 megapixel Sony camera.

Who knew that a camera store in Japan would have so many choices?

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August 27, 2004 – Transfer in jeopardy?

No, not this Jeopardy

No, not this Jeopardy

Well, my Area Manager was transferred today, so I am a little concerned about how this will affect my pending transfer request. The new AAM won’t be based in Kawasaki NOVA, so it will be a little more difficult to keep track of what’s happening. Hopefully everything will stay on track.

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August 13, 2004 – Friday the 13th

FYI – Nobody pays attention to Friday the 13th in Japan. That’s a truly western phenomenon.

A lot of Japanese people are on holidays right now, so I only had 3 of my 7 kids in class tonight. Also I got a free lesson at the end of the day, which is a very rare occurrence at Kawasaki NOVA. No complaints here.

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July 28, 2004 – Schedule changes

A regular shift at NOVA is eight lessons and a lunch or dinner break. Today I got to observe two training lessons, and got an empty slot to work on my Voice coordinator duties, so I only had to teach five lessons.

One of the lessons was my good Wednesday group kids class. I haven’t taught them in a while, and they were happy to see me. Unfortunately, due to scheduling issues next month, I will be working at Keikyu Kawasaki NOVA on Wednesdays and someone else will get my good kids group. It really sucks because they are the one group of kids I actually enjoy teaching, and they like me too! Hopefully I will get them back in September.

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July 17, 2004 – Too many kids

The entire Kawasaki NOVA schedule was filled with kids classes today. I was scheduled for three, but only had students show up for two.

I taught a 3 year old girl in one of my classes. She kept trying to climb furniture and jump on me. She also picked her nose a lot. Seriously a lot. When she wasn’t trying to jump on me, her finger was spelunking in her nasal cavity. I felt nauseous for about two hours after the class ended.

I finished my busy day, and then realized that since tomorrow is an early shift, I will be back at work in about 11 hours. BOOOOO!

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July 14, 2004 – How big is Uranus?

Every month the lesson plans for NOVA kids change. This month’s topic is outer space. The senior class (9-12 years old) is learning the names of planets and comparison words.

Today I had to teach the kids “Uranus is larger than Earth”. If I tried to get kids to say that in Canada I would have been arrested.

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