School Memories
me teaching
Brenda the ALT
This picture of me was taken at one of the International Conferences we got shipped to as international English teachers. Me and a group of other American ALTs gave speeches about our hometowns. There were also rooms for teachers from Canada, UK, and other english speaking countries.
my predecessor and me
Me and my Predecessor
Before I came to Japan in 2002, my high school had another ALT named Jason. I never met him, but he's been described to me rather vividly as a guy with a booming voice that frightened the students. He apparently rode to school on a bicycle with a big black helmet and a kendo sword strapped to his back. He was married to a Japanese woman, and they had a baby. It's strange to think of my school having an endless succession of ALT's. However, I will be the last actual ALT because Chiba prefecture has decided to go to private contractors instead of the government JET program- it's cheaper. I just hope the students continue to be exposed to foreign teachers. I'm the only foreigner that many of them have ever spoken to in person- sometimes I just can't get over how monocultural Japan is.
Inside the School
Here's my school on an ordinary day. You can see students far down the hall on the right side. The vending machines are down there, and the vice principal's office is around the corner on the left. The vending machines have all kinds of juice, cocoa, sodas, milk, coffee drinks, and even yogurt drink. I don't know where the paper mache soldier came from, but it's just one of the features of the school.
A Special Club
This is the 'let's dress in kimono and look pretty and study tea ceremony' club. I think technically it is the Tea Ceremony Club. You will notice my friend Nakai on the far left- seems like she was on the committee for all the clubs who needed an extra teacher! On the far right is a nice teacher whose often goes to Australia to visit his sister. And then in the front row, you can see the main teacher who leads tea ceremony, dressed in a beautiful kimono. She's a very sweet, elegant lady. Our school has a lovely traditional tatami room where they hold tea ceremony. Actually, I think all Japanese high schools have these rooms...
School Transformation for Culture Day
Before During
At my school's festival, you could see traditional dancing in the courtyard. The students also put on plays, like Harry Potter, the Lion King, and Peter Pan. They really went all out with the costumes and sets! They even wrote the script themselves, and although I couldn't understand all of the Japanese, the meaning came through pretty clearly.
Harry Potter: The Japanese Remake traditional dancing

This guy was the mascot for a first year class on the second floor. He was my favorite decoration, and I couldn't help taking a few pictures of him. Click on the Dragon to learn more about the teachers at my high school. Here's a picture of me and some of my kids. Aren't they the sweetest? Click on my Students to learn more about them.
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