Hello, it's me Tunji! When I don’t have classes I try to use the school’s training room. Surprisingly, not many students seem to know that such a room exists on campus. When students see me there, they are quite surprised. The other day after I finished using the training room I noticed that some of my students were playing badminton during their P.E. class so I decided to join them. It was the first time in years I’ve played badminton. Although I don’t pay attention to or play many sports, I used to play badminton with friends when I was at university. Playing with the students was a lot of fun and I would like to do it again if I get the chance.
For the team-taught class this semester, the Year 1 Foreign Language students are doing a project titled “News Show”. The students work in small groups to create an original news show. They are given free reign over the news that they report on. They only required to have three types of news reports: an international, a domestic and a free topic. For the free topic, some groups even choose to exercise their creativity by coming up with an original news content.
The students are currently filming their news show. Initially, many students have chosen to do their filming indoor. But the rain a few days back cleared the sky and presented them with a golden opportunity to shot outdoors. At the start of the lesson, the students were hesitant about filming outside but once they stepped out of their classroom, they got excited enjoyed themselves.
We will be viewing the news shows as a class in early December. I am excited and looking forward to know what the students will come up with.
On Friday 18th November, the 1st year girls from each class did a dance performance. The 1st year boys and many teachers came to watch their performance in the gym.
Each class worked hard to choose their songs and learn the choreography for their dance, I could see how hard every student did to give the best performance for us. This was my first time watching the dance performance, which is an annual event at Wako-ku. It was so much fun for me to watch, I’m looking forward to next year!
Congratulations to class 1-4, who came first, and classes 1-8 and 1-5, who came second and third. Most of all, congratulations to all the students who participated, you should all be very proud of yourselves for doing such an amazing job!
Hello it’s me Tunji, this week we made baked cheesecake. Although I prefer rare cheesecake. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but I join the handmade club from time to time. This may come as a surprise to some but I really enjoy cooking and baking. Before joining in the handmade club activities I haven't had a chance to bake in over 10 years. I normally cook at home. It’s always funny to see students pass by the club as most are shocked to see me of all people. I find cooking and baking to be a stress reliever. I often watch cooking videos on Youtube as well. If time allows I think I might help the handmade club next year during the culture if they are allowed to sell food.
In preparation for the prefectural debate tournament, Inaho Cup, students from the FEN (short for Fun with English Network) club had been having practice debate matches online. The students debated on the topic of whether the Japanese government should abolish the mandatory retirement age systems. Through these debate matches, the students had the opportunity to hone their skills for debate as well as their critical thinking skills. In addition, since these matches were online, students from all over Saitama as well as other prefectures such as Yamanashi and Fukui were able to take part, thus, allowing the students to make friends with those whom they might not have the opportunity to meet otherwise.
The Inaho Cup will take place on 6th November 2022, this coming Sunday. The students from Wakoku have grown so much in terms of their confidence and skills since their first practice match and I am excited to see how they will fare in the Inaho Cup.
All the best to them!
This week, students had their mid-term exams. While they were working hard, the ALTs had a party with the PTA. For some of the ALTs, this was their first meeting with the PTA.
Members of the PTA had a chance to ask questions and learn more about the ALTs and their home countries. This was also a chance for parents to speak English with native speakers. Afterwards, the ALTs tried kirigami with the parents and had the opportunity to chat with them.
This was my first time doing kirigami. Although it was hard, it was a lot of fun and very rewarding for me to complete my kirigami rabbit! The ALTs also had a wonderful time chatting with parents in both English and Japanese. I’m looking forward to next year’s PTA party!
Hello! It’s me, Tunji! I can’t believe I have been working at Wakoku for a little over a year now. I initially arrived on September 13th 2021 but I didn’t start working until the 27th of that month. Getting used to Wakoku was initially difficult at first because of the pandemic. Over time many things got easier. Getting along with students was initially very difficult as there wasn’t much opportunity for me to talk with them in class. Due to this a lot of students got the impression that I was a scary person or that I wasn’t interested in talking to them. Of course this was not the case. As things calmed down I’ve gotten to know many teachers and students very well. Though it has already started I looked to what will happen during my second year at Wakoku.
Hello everyone! It’s Jade writing this week. I hope you are all enjoying the cooler weather lately. This week I’m going to write about one of Wakoku’s biggest school celebrations.
This week students and teachers all celebrated the sports festival together. What is the sports festival? First of all, in Japanese, the sports festival is called “undokai.” In Japan, schools host two festivals each year. The culture festival and the sports festival. For this school celebration, students participate in various team sports such as relay races, tug of war, and the typhoon event.
As a foreigner, I had never seen the typhoon event before. I thought it was really interesting. To do this event, students huddle together as a team in four rows. The four students in the front are holding onto a long pole. First, the students with the pole must run together to maneuver the pole around some obstacles. Then they must get everyone on their team to jump over the pole which is followed by passing the pole over the heads of the rest of the team. Finally, they pass the pole to the next four students, and everything repeats for another round. The first team to complete ten rounds is the winner!
After the sports events are finished, all of the students participate in a cheer competition. Although everyone participates, it is really the 3rd year students who shine the most during the performances. Students do all sorts of cheers and dances. It was amazing to see how much hard work the students put into preparing their performances. If only they could put that much effort into their homework!
Before the COVID-19, English lunch was an everyday affair at Wakoku. You might be wondering what English lunch is. It was started with the aim to encourage students to converse in English. And what better way to do it than to have it in a relaxing setting and over food (the Singaporean in me says, “Yeay!”). Armed with their lunch boxes, both the ALTs and students would gather in one of the seminar rooms to chat.
However, COVID-19 threw a wrench in this plan as students are now encouraged to not talk when they remove their mask during their meal. Seeing that there will not be any changes to this rule anytime soon, but we would still like to increase the students’ exposure to English, English lunch was revamped to be an English Cartoon session. And on September 27th, we had our first English Cartoon session.
To start this session off, students were shown Spongebob Squarepants in English with English subtitles. Since they would not be talking while they watch the cartoon, students were allowed to bring their lunch boxes and eat as they watch. Even though it was only opened to the Year 1 students, the turnout was better than expected. With this success, we have decided to hold a second session for the Year 2s and 3s on October 11th. Keeping our fingers crossed and hoping that the turnout will be as good as the Year 1s.
This week, the third year students have been preparing for the sports festival. Before and after school, the students have been practicing their dance performance for the festival. Since this will be my first sports festival at Wakoku, I am looking forward to the event!
In Australia, the school sports festival is a little different. The events at our festivals usually include shotput, high jump, long jump, running, and relay races. We also have another event in the year called the swimming carnival, where students compete in races for backstroke, butterfly, and so on. I am looking forward to seeing the different events at the sport festival at Wakoku.
Good luck to the students who are working hard for the sports festival!