The day started off quite beautifully--sunny and clear which was amazing considering all night long we were being rocked back in forth by the Typhoon. Thursday we went to Meiho Elementary School to observe the Japanese elementary education system, and to deliver our lessons to 5th and 6th graders; together with Michael and Carolynn, we delivered a lesson about American popular culture.
I have had many teaching experiences in the past, and I know how to adapt when technology goes awry; however, this time--during the first lesson--all technologies (no internet connection, no YouTube, no Google!) decided not to show up to class with us! The team and I quickly responded, managed our time table, and adapted to what we needed to do in order to conduct a successful, high energy lesson.
During the second lesson, the technology worked to our specific expectations and we delivered a lesson that not only got all of the children involved (hooray for active participation without prompting!!!), but also the student teachers got up and danced with the kids as well. With minor deviations to the original lesson plan, we added an on-the-spot dance lesson (no, definitely not choreographed by me) to wrap up our lesson. In a word to sum up the lesson: AWESOME!
Thereafter we retreated back to our classrooms for a lunch with the students. I'm not one to experience culture shock, and up until this time I still had yet to see something completely unexpected. During lunch teachers eat with their students in the homeroom. Very cool, not too unexpected. After lunch, however, all of the students (in an elementary school, mind you) got up and began cleaning the entire school in a highly coordinated manner. At this point in time, yes, my jaw dropped. At this age students in the US eat lunch outside and can't even pick up their own trash, short of cleaning the entire school! So that was amazing, in and of itself.
The day concluded with a nice train ride back to Shinjuko station, followed by gift shopping and gearing up for karaoke with the class! Fun times.
In all, Thursday was a great final day in Tokyo.
Pictures to come.