Excitement Among the Mundane


Before the term gets into full swing there aren’t many things for the Assistant Language Teachers to do. Of course we can prepare for classes, but there’s only so much of that to be done. Many ALTs over the years have complained about how they are just ignored but still expected to sit for 7 hours and 45 minutes being ‘busy’.

At my Wednesday school they have decided to take advantage of one of my skills and it has brought a little variety and excitement to what could have been a mundane day. Technically I am licensed to teach Japanese calligraphy to elementary and younger ages. One teacher who has been assigned the task of grading the childrens’ works finds it a bit laborious, so she has enlisted my aid.

Today we wrestled with which student from each grade created the best piece of calligraphy. A tough point in grading young students is that each work will include some positive points and, inevitably, some not yet developed points. So, whose weak points override their strong points and whose are vice versa is the critical factor. Rather than let it traumatize me, I had fun stretching out my creative fingers which have been cramped by recent traumatic events.

Most important point of the day: don’t read the names until after judging.


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