GTEC – Dec. 2020

Good morning everyone,

Today is a busy Saturday at school. We have two different open school events for new students next year. We also have a big English test for high school grades 1 and 2, called GTEC. It is a lot of work for English teachers, because we need to arrange all the classes, as well as the tablets used for the speaking tests. In order to give the students a quiet test during the open school events, my class, M2C, and another class, H2C, changed rooms for the day. I think my students feel like high school students for a day! Anyway, hopefully everyone does well before enjoying a day off tomorrow.

Getting the class cleaned up on Thursday, before the exchange. I enjoyed some YouTube while I cleaned.
Students getting their tablets ready for the speaking test.

Christmas Season – Dec. 2020

Hello everyone,

Today is the last day of ther second term final tests. I hope you have been able to study well and answer all the questions. Tomorrow you have a day to study and refresh at home, and then there are only 13 days until classes finish!

It is getting close to Christmas time, and so some various decorations are being put up around the school.

Here are the lights being put on the tree outside.
Here is a new nativity scene in the stairwell.

How about at your house? Are you putting up any decorations or lights? I hope you enjoy this Christmas season.

2020 School Video – Nov. 2020

Hello everyone,

The test schedule comes out tomorrow, have you already started preparing for tests? The second term is very long, so there is a lot of material to study. Make your plan, and good luck!

Yesterday at home I was watching Youtube and noticed that the school video made for Wakayama TV had been uploaded to the school’s channel. I live in Osaka, so it was the first time I was able to see it. I watched it and then shared it with my family back in Canada. Why don’t you take a look?

Nara Trip – Nov. 2020

Hello everyone,

This week is a busy one. Tomorrow is another round of Eiken interview tests, today is an open lesson for parents to watch, and yesterday our volleyball team defeated Kaichi High School 3 sets to 0! Congratulations!

On Wendesday our grades went different places for a one day trip. Of course, thinking about the corona virus, we had to be careful where to go. I think we chose some interesting place and had a good time. For grade 2 junior high school, we went to Nara. While we were there we did a “GPS Quiz”. As groups walked toward a certain spot, they received a question to answer. It was fin seeing everyone get their different scores. Here are some pictures:

We were met by many many deer!
The famous Todaiji Temple.
That is a BIG Buddha.
Here is the GPS quiz and map. As a teacher I could see the scores for every group.
We had some time to relax at the end of the day. So we practiced fireballs.
And of course, we got some omiyage at the end.

Have a great weekend, and get ready for tests coming soon!

A different kind of mass – Nov. 2020

Hello everyone,

Today we held a mass to remember people we have lost this year. It is a chance to remember them and say a prayer. Usually we all gather in the gym together, but that is difficult to do these days. Instead, the first year junior high school classes, the first year high school classes, and students who are remembering someone went to the gym. The rest of the classes watched from their classrooms. We used “Google Meet” to access the camera, and the school’s PA system for the sound. It went pretty well for a first effort. I think we will be able to use this system in the future more often.

Temperature Print Graffiti – Oct. 2020

Hello everyone,

One of the new things this year that we have to do every day is check our temperature. Every morning I check mine and my kids before we leave for school. In my classroom, students give me their temperature paper every morning and I check. This is a small thing to help manage our health in this Covid-19 problem.

But… it is mendokusai, right? I think so too. I know it is important, but it is still 5 minutes every day. However, some of my students have become more creative this term. And, their creativity helps me do these “everyday jobs” more cheerfully. How? Let’s look!

Some girls mark their paper with the sign of their favorite group. Astro fans unite!
Some girls start a picture, and I try to add to it. I like the caterpillar the best.
Other girls write short English comments to me. Sometimes they are not happy about homework, other times they are excited for an easy day.
And sometimes we go on a multi-day adventure. This one is my favorite.

It is a small thing, but being creative helps make the “everyday jobs” more fun. Stay healthy and have a good weekend!

A bird’s eye view – Oct. 2020

Hello everyone,

On Wednesday we had our culture event. It was the first time this year that all the students have been together in one place. Of course, because there were no parents, students could sit with social distance and wear their masks. This meant, however, that some students had to in the balcony area. Because they will have many more culture events, junior high school grades 1 and 2 sat up there, and high school grade 3 students were down at the front. This was my view of the manzai comedy:

When you see something from a high place, we call it a “bird’s eye view”. We imagine this is how a bird sees things as they fly over the earth. It was still a good time, however. Thanks for everyone who organized it!

Be a Cheerful Giver – Oct. 2020

Hello everyone,

Today was my day to give a bible reading. I chose a passage from 2 Corinthians, chapter 9, verses 6 and 7. I really like the message of this part. Recently my grandmother is not feeling well, so after I read this to you all this morning, I called her in Canada and read it to her as well. Maybe there is someone special in your life you want to read it to. Feel free to share, give it cheerfully.

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

“A cheerful giver.” What a great phrase. In this passage, Paul is talking about giving your offering of money at church.

When I was a boy in Canada, I went to church every Sunday. I had to go, my grandfather was the minister! At one point in the service, everyone would be singing a song, and the collection plates would pass through the congregation. People put their offering of money into the plate and passed it on. Nobody saw how much you put in. It was between you and God. You decided it in your heart.

In your daily life, you don’t give money at church. However, there are other gifts you give. Being a good friend, greeting people at school everyday, and giving a helping hand in the classroom or at home are all very important gifts.

So I encourage you all to give these things with your heart. Don’t wait to be asked, help someone when your heart tells you to. If you do so, you will both feel lifted up. The way to surround yourself with happiness is to be a “cheerful giver”.

Shel Silverstein – Oct. 2020

Hello everyone,

Scary guy, big heart!

It is the middle of October and fall is here. This is my favorite time of year. In Japan we say that fall is the season for reading, and the other day I was reading some poems by an author named “Shel Silverstein”. Mr. Silverstein was a scary looking man with a big beard and a shaved head. However, he wrote very sensitive and loving poems for children. His main message was to believe in yourself and accept others for what they are. He also wrote some funny poems too. Let’s look at some of them today.

 

I think this is me on Sundays. Do you ever feel so lazy that you just want to wait for life to come to you? The words here look like raindrops.

I like this poem because it reminds us that we are responsible for our lives. There are four simple ideas here.

  • The screen door. If you take care of things, they will last longer.
  • The bread. Don’t be greedy, and you will have more.
  • The day. You choose how good your day is.
  • The friend. If you give them love, they will be full of it.

This poem tells us to be ourselves, and we will find our true friends. In this poem, both of them are hiding their face because they have blue skin, so they cannot find each other. They wanted to find someone with the same skin: “They searched for blue their whole life through…” However, because they were too afraid to show their own face, they missed their chance.

Be yourself, take care of your friends, and enjoy your lazy Sundays. Have a great week.

 

99 – Oct. 2020

Hello everyone,

Thinking about the number 99…

  • Einsteinium is 99 on the periodic table
  • The best hockey player ever wore 99 on his jersey
  • You can write it like this: 9.9 × 101
  • You can get to 99 with this: 23 + 33 + 4
  • 99 is a polite number, (44+45)

It is also the number of days left until the center test for our seniors.

The next 99 days will go by quickly. You can do a lot with that time, or you can be the same person you are now. Everyday is long, but the next 99 will go by in a flash.

The typhoon is coming tomorrow, take care and be safe.