Connected to Education

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Friday I noticed one of the teachers referencing a tremendous text. Being ever so curious (nosy), I asked about the book. She closed the book so I could read the cover: 三重県教育関係者名簿. For those of you not studying Japanese – Mieken Kyouiku Kankeisha Meibo – Mie Prefecture Education-Connection-Having-People’s Directory. She was very happy to flip the Directory of Educators open to the Ichishi Junior High page and point out that I was in the directory.

I found it amusing that I was listed using my first and last names and when I poked my nose into last year’s directory my predecessor was listed only by his given name. I decided he must be more famous, like Cher, Madonna, Arnold, Cheney – it seems famous people only need one name. Infamous people seem to get three: John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Osama Bin Laden, … I guess having two names is not so bad.

Looking further back it seems that ALTs were not listed before 2004; I guess our status is improving. Serendipitously, discovering these books allowed me to study the structure of a local Catholic school that contacted me yesterday about becoming a teacher. They were disappointed when I told them I could only work part time, but I don’t want a contract that restricts me from holding my own classes. We’ll see if I hear back from them.

Today’s vocab:

  • 県 ken – one of four words used for prefecture
  • 教育 kyouiku – education
  • 関係 kankei – connection/connected
  • 者 sha – person (often read as mono with the same meaning)
  • 名簿 meibo – directory or registry
  • 障害 shougai – 1. obstacle, difficulty 2. disorder, handicap
  • 児 ji – child (often ni, sometimes ko with the same meaning)

The last two I threw in because the teacher showing me the book was listed next to me as teaching English and Handicapped Students. Often when we have discussions about these students I don’t know the proper terms and so, end out saying something like ‘students who learn at a slow rate’. Now, if I can remember, I can say shougaiji.

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