Thursday, April 15, 2004

Teaching to the resistors

Last night I had my first class with children from a group called "The Group for Thinking About a Place for Kids to Be." The English isn't as elegant as that Japanese. The children in attendance are all refusenics, kids who refuse to attend school. There are quite a number of children in Japan who, as a result of bullying by students, teachers, or the system in general, refuse to attend school. Since the home schooling system here is so poor and disorganized, these kids are in really bad positions.

This non-profit organization contacted me and asked if I would like to work with the students in the group and teach them English. They aren't interested in really working hard, but they are interested.

The smaller children, entirely grade school children, were lively and I had a lot of fun with them. The other group, the junior and senior high group was not NEARLY as fun, and were a trial. Not sure why they're there. Probably because their parents told them to go. We'll see.

I just talked with them a little to find out who they were, and to try to find some topics that would be of interest to them. Then we did a thing on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That was a lot of fun. I did a rhyme, the kids chant

peanut, peanut butter, jelly (x2)
First you take the peanuts and you smash them, you smash them (x2)
peanut, peanut butter, jelly (x2)
Then you take the berries and you smush them, you smush them (x2)
peanut, peanut butter, jelly (x2)
Then you take the bread and you spread it, you spread it (x2)
peanut, peanut butter, jelly (x2)
Then you take the sandwich and you eat it, you eat it (x2)
(and with a sound like you have pb stuck on the roof of your mouth)
mmmm mmmmm, mm mmmm, mmmmmm(x2)

Then we made pb and j sandwiches and ate them. None of the kids have ever eaten one before. They were pleasantly surprised. It was fun for everyone, except for the older kids who were too cool to have fun.

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