Thursday, May 31, 2012

Healthy Debate

Many of my elementary schools this year have requested that, if I'm not teaching English, I should participate in a class. This makes downtime unexistant, which is something I'm fine with. I usually request to be placed in a class where I wont get bored; PE, art, music, and science are always at the top of my list. The other day, I was placed in PE, with about twenty highly energetic third graders. I arrived to class about a minute late, they were already stretching. As they counted off in Japanese "一、ニ、三…" I decided to rebel and see who would follow. "one, two, three, four..." I said with a grin. The eight count finished and two boys standing in front of me followed (as I was a leader). I soon became curious how many kids would join. I began to push. The field of students was about four wide and five deep. A grid of twenty with two leaders and myself in the front. I had already infected two. So I pushed... We completed the sixth stretch, I had the entire front row was counting in English. At this moment, the Vice principle appeared and a small argument broke out. I continued to push... The boy, in the front row farthest from me got into a debate with a girl leading the stretches... ---Translation--- Leader girl, "count in Japanese". Boy, "I want to count in English" "you are Japanese, you are not American, count in Japanese" the girl said in a bossy tone. "Vice Principle! Can I count in English?" he said with no hesitation. "Count in whatever language you want" Checkmate. I was satisfied. Not only did I give the kids a chance to speak in English, I gave them a small lesson in rebellion. The class finished off their stretches in unison; "six, seven, eight".

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