Dodgeball and Autographs

Once again elementary school has restored my faith in the Japanese school system. Today was quite possibly the best day of teaching I've had so far. I already worked out a good introduction lesson at Nishi Kawanobori, so I came in the Higashi Kawanobori today totally prepared. The day started with a short assembly in the gym, where I gave a short introduction in English and Japanese. One of the best things about elementary school is that they want me to use both English and Japanese in the classroom. That makes my work so much easier. After my little intro, all of the students sang the school song for me. It was pretty complicated, considering the singers were all little kids. I visited four classes today. All went incredibly well. I can tell the teachers are all really happy with my performace so far. Higashi Kawanobori is also the school with the teacher that lived in Australia. I really like talking to her, and hope to do so more often than just two days each month. I think she would make a great friend. During one of the periods between classes, a group of sixth grade boys came to the staff room looking for me. Students always come into the staff room looking for teachers, but that was the first time anyone has come looking for me. They came to ask if I would play dodgeball with them during recess. Of course I agreed. At first I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be good, but I forgot that I was playing against sixth graders. When the time came for recess, it was a group of girls that came to get me for the game. As it turned out, they play boys versus girls. The girls asked me to be on their team because the boys were too strong. It was very cute. Most of the girls tried to hide in the corner of the field, but there were two girls that were absolute monsters. It was crazy to see how intense they were. I really liked being asked to play with the kids. One definite highlight was at the end of one class when all of the kids came up to me with their notebooks, asking me for a signiture. A real rockstar experience to say the least. All of these little hands pushing notebooks at me, begging me to "jumbo sign." I'm a little sad that I won't see this group again for another two weeks. I really liked them all a lot. Then again, next week I get to move on to my other rotation of schools. Two more elementary schools to meet people at, plus one new junior high.