So I have been in Tokyo for about one month now. Instead of trying to pack all of the great experiences I have had here thus far, I will be telling you about the first few weeks.
For a seamless transition from Honjo to Tokyo, my entire family brought me to my boss, Chiyuki’s home for a welcoming picnic. The weather wasn’t too nice that day, but I was able to try my favorite vegetable, and now I am absolutely addicted to grilled or baked or any kind of pumpkin.
I got to my living space, and set up all of my stuff and spent some time on the balcony at night admiring the beauty of the city and absorbing the energy of Tokyo. It was almost a spiritual experience. I had to go to bed relatively early though, because my first day in Tokyo was going to be a long one. I had an hour and a half commute to a public elementary school and would be staying there all day.
Of course, you are never fully acquainted with a city until you’ve gotten completely and utterly lost, and luckily I quickly got familiar with the city because I ended up being lost in the outskirts of Tokyo. Luckily, with the help of Chiyuki, I was able to find my way back to civilization and the school I was supposed to be observing at.
The difference in Japanese public schools and American public schools is considerable. There really is this incredible sense of comfort and unity among all of the students, and the amount of respect they have for their teachers is also really amazing. I was able to connect with the kids, and they begged me to come back one more day, so a week later, I made the hour and a half trek, but it was my pleasure and I wanted to return. It was especially worth it when all of their faces lit up when I walked in the room and they all yelled Olivia San.
Aside from the schools, I have also been teaching lessons with Chiyuki. There is a good relationship and understanding between the two of us, and that makes teaching together go very smoothly and naturally. The students here are very eager to learn, and are very interested in America. Chiyuki is demanding of the students, but they all like it. Because of her vigorous lessons, the students not only learn English, but also grow as people. The classroom setting here is unique, but very efficient.
See you in a few weeks with more updates on the latter part of Tokyo.