Open Presentation and Debate
On Monday 13th March, students from the 1st year Gaigo course gave a presentation in English about a social issue. Eight students from among 1-7 and 1-8 were chosen to present to their classmates and teachers. This presentation is a form of preparation for their third year at Wako-ku, where Gaigo students will present a longer graduation presentation on a social issue of their choice.
In addition, on Thursday 16th March, students from the 2nd year Gaigo course had Open Debate. Four debate teams were chosen among 2-7 and 2-8 to participate in a debate in front of the 1st and 2nd year Gaigo students. The topic for debate was, “Convenience stores in Japan should be banned from being open for 24 hours”. One team from both 2-7 and 2-8 ended up winning their debate matches.
These events were a way for students to show their classmates and teachers how much they have grown in the English speaking skills since the beginning of the school year. Congratulations to the 1st and 2nd year Gaigo students on all their hard work this year!
On the graduation day
Hi it’s me Tunji! Today was the graduation ceremony. Last year I also attended the graduation ceremony but it was a bit because I didn’t know any of the graduates because I didn’t teach any of them. This year’s graduates are actually students I taught so the feeling was very different. I taught these students when they were 2nd years and also continued on teaching some of them when they became 3rd year students. It was a bit sad to have to say goodbye. In life you’ll meet many people along the way and those people won’t always be a part of your life. How I’m putting it may sound sad but I don’t think that's the important part. When you meet someone there will always come a day where you have to say goodbye but this fact doesn’t change the value that person has to you or affect the memories you made. So I’d like to say it was an honor to teach the students that graduated today. I’m glad to have met you. Despite me being a teacher you all taught me so much. From my heart, thank you.
FEN Debate Club: Winter Cup
On Sunday 12th February, students from the FEN debate club participated in the Winter Cup online at school. The students were split into two teams to debate the question: should English be excluded from university entrance exams? The students spent months researching this topic and practicing to prepare for this tournament. Through this competition, they also had the chance to compete with students from different schools, such as Omiya International High School and Inagakuen.
Through their efforts, the two teams of the English debate club won 9th and 11th place in the competition. Although most students were very new to debate at the beginning of the school year, they worked hard to learn debate skills. These results are due to their consistent efforts throughout the year. Congratulations to the FEN club on such excellent results, and to the teachers that supported them!
On a Snowy Day
It's me, Tunji! Last week I had my final lesson at Fujimino High School. Going to a different school every once in a while was a very interesting experience. While at Fujimino I noticed that the teacher and student relationship was quite different from Wakoku. It was quite interesting to see. When the other teachers found out it was my last they chatted with me for an hour during my free period. While I do have mixed feelings about visiting Fujimino, over all I think the experience has given me a unique perspective on the differences and similarities between schools. I’m also glad that my last day was last week because today it snowed for the first time in a long time. It would’ve been troublesome to go to Fujimino.
Preparation for Marathon Day
Since the start of this term, the students in Wakoku have been preparing for the Marathon Day that will take place on February 1. It was unfortunate (the students might disagree) that the run was canceled last year due to COVID-19. This year, we will be taking the scenic route and the students will be running around Lake Sai. The girls will be running 10 km and the boys, 15 km. It might be tough for most of the students but I hope they will have fun and make some fond memories while toughing it out with their friends.
Entrance Exam Preparation
This term, the third year students’ classes have been reduced, with no afternoon classes. This is because they are preparing for their university entrance exams. By the beginning of February, the third year students’ classes will be finished, giving them more time to study and prepare.
It will feel a bit empty at Wako-ku without them, and there are many students and teachers who will miss them. We wish the students good luck with their studies and the entrance exams!
Lunch Time English Conversation Group
Hello, it’s me Tunji! It’s a little bit late but Happy New Year! I spent the winter break doing nothing in particular so I have nothing to say about that. I started this a few months ago but I hold an English conversation group at lunch. A student of mine asked me if we could have one. I was a bit surprised by their initiative. Now I hold that group 3 to 4 times a week. During that conversation group I also teach students helpful phrases for conversations, grammar, and give them study tips. If there are students who’d like to join all they have to do is ask.
Ends and Beginnings
I walked into school the other day to see these laid out near the entrance. The mikan (a variety of mandarin orange) and the daruma are often things commonly seen at the end and beginning of a year.
The Japanese mikan is a familiar sight in Japan during the winter as a classic winter activity in Japan is sitting at a Kotatsu (heated table. A MUST have for winter) eating mikan and watching tv dramas. As for the daruma, it is a round Japanese traditional doll modeled after the founder of Zen tradition in Buddhism. It is seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular purchase at the start of a new year. When purchased, the daruma doll’s eyes are both blank white. The owner makes a wish or goal for the year and paints in the left eye of the doll with ink. Once the goal is achieved, the right eye is filled in.
The closing ceremony for winter break has already taken place by the time this article was written, and students have officially gone off for their winter break. As we approach the year end, let’s give ourselves a little break and enjoy the festive season. Have a mikan (under the Kotatsu if you can. Have I mentioned that it is life changing?), give thanks for you have gone through a year safely, despite the ups and downs, and perhaps, purchase a daruma doll so that you can start 2023 with a goal to look forward to.
Have a good winter break!
Blood Donation Drive
First, congratulations to all students on finishing your exams for the term. I know you all studied very hard! There is now only one more week until the end of the term, but Wako-ku students are still staying busy.
On Tuesday 13th December, a truck came from the Red Cross to take blood donations at Wako-ku. Both students and teachers came to donate their blood. This will be life-saving for the many people who require blood donations each year.
A big thank you to all the students and teachers who donated their time (and blood) for a good cause!
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.