Yay! I survived my first week of teaching English!! I have to admit, I have a new appreciation for teachers. I always assumed it would be hard work, but I never knew how much time and work teachers have to put into their job! I thought at first, oh yeah, I get off work at 3:30pm (because that's when school ends), but really, the work doesn't stop there! There are lesson plans to be done, papers to be graded, and then finding more challenging work for my more advanced students, figuring out what area I need to spend more time covering, finding out which students need more help, etc. Phew! It was an exhausting week. My first day I felt completely unprepared and all of the things I had "planned" to do like introductions and simple things like that only took a few minutes rather than the whole class. So then I had to think what I was going to do next. I learned my lesson for the rest of the week and planned ahead and also planned to teach more than I would actually cover in my lessons, that way I had less to do for the next day. One of the hardest things was learning all of my students' names. I have 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th graders throughout the day. The names I would get confused were Masayoshi, Masahide and Kazumichi. I was calling Kazumichi, Kazumachi and calling Masahide, Masayoshi. Oh yeah and I have a Hinata and a Hikari....Hinata (a girl) and Hikari (a boy)...I was constantly calling people the wrong names. Ha. I was a mess, but good news is that I now know all of my students by name! It is interesting teaching them English because they know how to say the words they are reading, but when you ask them to tell you what it means, a lot of times, they do not know. So it is important to constantly be asking them the meaning of a ton of different words throughout their readings, conversations, etc. When they are on the English side of the school, they are only allowed to speak in English. I found out that they were coming into my room during their lunch period because I was the only one not yelling at them to speak English (when they were speaking Japanese)....taking advantage of the new teacher! So now, I have to be the mean teacher and get on their case if I hear them speaking Japanese! :-) This is my first full week of teaching, so I will keep you all updated on how things go this week!
Let me rewind to this past weekend.....we did some more exploring of course! There is just so much to see, do, and learn about. We took a short ride to Cape Zanpa. Cape Zanpa is a peninsula on the western side of Okinawa that has a lighthouse and a beach. Apparently it is a hot spot for fishing as well. There were paths to walk along and the view was spectacular of course.
Friday night Andrew and I went with my coworkers to a new italian restaurant that one of my student's parents' just opened, called Allegro. It is walking distance to our house, which is great because the food was really good. The owner/principal of the school had ordered a variety of appetizers and entrees to be brought out and the food was served family style. I would tell you everything that was brought out, but I am not too sure of what everything was! :-) What I do know is that it was good and we will be back to eat there!
I am a sushi lover and thankfully I love to try new foods and am not particularly picky in the things I eat, but there are times that I have been here that I just crave some type of food that I would eat back in the U.S. For instance, on Sunday I was craving Mexican food. We haven't had mexican since I've been in Okinawa. We have seen a few mexican restaurants, but from reading reviews, they don't sound very appealing. I found one place called Mike's Tex Mex that had gotten fairly good reviews, so we decided to try it out. First difference here is that chips and salsa are NOT complimentary at a mexican restaurant. They did have it on their menu though, so of course we ordered it. I am not sure I am glad that we ordered it though....the salsa was garlic OVERLOAD! I think the salsa consisted of chopped up tomatoes and garlic cloves. I thought at first the white chunks in the salsa were onions, but no, they were straight up garlic cloves. haha. Talk about bad breath afterwards! After we got past the garlic salsa, our meals came and they were better than I had anticipated. I ordered a beef taco (hard shell) and a chicken enchilada. My critique would be that there was a lack of condiments. The chicken enchilada was simply shredded chicken inside the enchilada. No lettuce, onions, or anything else inside the enchilada....the enchilada sauce was very minimal, so it was a little dry for my liking. The beef taco was good. Overall, I was pretty satisfied with our experience there and it did satisfy my "mexican" craving. But maybe next time we will just make burritos or tacos at home and make our own salsa!
Andrew and I were talking about some of the places we miss back in the states.....I miss Jersey Mike's because there is no place here where you can get a really good sub....all we have to work with here is Subway (at least with what I have found so far). Andrew said he really misses Chick-fil-A and I second that opinion as well! What type of food or restaurants would you miss if you were in Japan?!