April 2021 – School Festival Posters

Hello everyone,

It is a beautiful Monday today. This season is wonderful because the sun is bright but it is not too hot yet. In 5th and 6th period today, many classes were preparing for the school festival. On Saturday we bought tickets. This year we have to be more creative with our ideas because we cannot make food. Let’s take a look at the different posters!

Torch Relay – April 2021

Hello everyone!

It is Monday, welcome back to school. On Friday and Saturday there was a big event in Wakayama. The Olympic torch relay was held! On Friday it was in the south of Wakayama. Ms. Fujisaki was a runner, you should ask her about it. On Saturday the relay was in Wakayama City. It was both exciting, because it is a rare event, and sad, because we couldn’t all go outside and cheer.

I was reminded of the 2010 Olympics in Canada, because my step-father was a runner as well. In fact, he kept his torch and it is at his home now. What a great way to remember it!

Hopefully by the time summer comes we will have a better idea how to hold a fun and safe Olympics. Until then, stay safe and smart by washing your hands, wearing your masks, and not going to crowded places.

Bonus question! The last time the Olympics were in Japan was 1998. One Shin-ai teacher, who was a student then, ran in the relay. Look at the picture, can you find them? If you know the answer, please tell me!

Maybe if we zoom in a little, it is easier to see…

We’re back! Setting goals… – Apr. 2021

Hello everyone!

Last time I wrote on this page it was at the end of a long year. I wrote that page, turned off my computer, and went home to relax and refresh. I hope you did the same! Now school is back and I am ready to go.

Every year at school I try to set a new challenge. Four years ago it was to start this blog. Three years ago I began an eiken extra lesson after school. Last year I did many lessons online and learned new technology. So now I am thinking about 2021-22.

This year we have a new teacher from Canada named Xan. He moved to Wakayama in March and began teaching this week. He has many things to learn about our school, students, and way of studying at Shin-ai. I remember when I came to this school, I had to work very hard to learn many things. So, my challenge this year is to help Xan become the best teacher he can be.

How about you? What will you challenge this year? Maybe you have a study challenge, like being top 3 in your class. Maybe you have an attendance challenge, so you will never miss school. Maybe you have a lifestyle challenge, like saying a big “Good Morning!” to your class every day.

Whatever you decide, I hope you use this year to improve yourself, and help people around you. This year’s school motto is “together”. So, let’s work together and have a great year. And, if you see Xan in the hallway, give him a big hello!

Stay healthy,


A year like no other… – Mar. 2021

Hello everyone,

Today we held a ceremony for the grade 3 junior high school students. After spring vacation they will move up to the high school. After school today teachers were signing their yearbooks. I try to write a different message for every student, but the theme is usually the same. Three years feels like a long time day-by-day, but now that it is finished, it is very fast.

Sr. Morita’s talk for the end of the year was about the many challenges we all faced. A lot of events couldn’t be held, and a lot of new rules had to be followed. The cheerful chatter at lunch time was muted, and we washed and washed and washed our hands. It was hard, but I am really proud of all the students and teachers that we did not have an outbreak at school. Because everyone was willing to work together we could all stay safe.

Next year the world will be bouncing back from the virus, and we will have new chances to enjoy our time. I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s face soon. Until then, good job this year, enjoy your spring break, and thank you for everything.

Junior High School Singing… Contest? – Mar. 2021

Hello everyone,

The year is almost over and spring vacation is coming soon. I hope you are ready to relax, refresh, and reset for the new year. This year has been a big challenge, so thank you for coming to school with your smiles everyday. I know many events were changed or cancelled, but I am proud of all our students and teachers for making a big effort this year.

One event we could not hold live was the junior high school chorus singing contest. It was disappointing because it is a good chance for teamwork. However, Ms. Sakai helped you practice in your lessons and recorded your songs for everyone to hear. I enjoyed listening to them, and I can’t wait until we can all do it together again.

Grade 1, Class A:RAIN B:Believe C:正解 D:変わらないもの https://youtu.be/FHDwwPrpeKY

Grade 2, Class A:ハナミズキ B:RPG C:Story D:Hikari https://youtu.be/UxJLbN-rmXo

Grade 3, Class A:カイト B:あとひとつ C:いつかこの涙が D:奏 https://youtu.be/7ineYxj8Z-g

Thank you again Sakai-sensei! See you tomorrow everyone.

English Recitation Contest – Mar. 2021

Hello everyone,

Today the junior high school students will have their recitation contest. This year is different from other years because we cannot all meet together in the gym. However, we have made some videos for everyone to watch. Students will watch the girls from their same grade and choose the best speaker.

Stay tuned here for a picture update later today!

Our contest is finished, and I want to say a big thank you to everyone who challenged and spoke today, and the teachers that helped practice with them. The results for M1 are:

  1. M1A Mai Murakami
  2. M1D Honoka Yabuta
  3. M1B Ayano Nonoka

For the second grade, the results are:

  1. M2A Yuriko Nakamura
  2. M2A Miyabi Yamamoto
  3. M2B Aina Nakagawa

For grade three, the results are:

  1. M3C Satsuki Takei
  2. M3D Mao Nakai
  3. M3D Honoka Kawasaki

Thank you again to everyone who took part. Let’s keep practicing and challenge it again next year!

Eiken pre-1 good news! – Mar. 2021

Hello everyone,

Well, your final tests are finished and we are on the last spurt before spring vacation. I am sure you were nervous to get your tests back, and I hope you did well. In addition to your final tests, eiken results also came back. Two more girls from our school passed the pre-1 level. One girl is in H2, and the other is in H1. This makes a total of 5 girls this year, with one more result on the way. (Fingers crossed!)

The pre-1 level has difficult vocabulary to study, but it is a good challenge for anyone who wants to have more confidence in their English. Next year the pre-1 class will start again, so let me know if you want to challenge it.

Congratulations again!

High School Graduation – Mar. 2021

Hello everyone,

Yesterday we were able to say goodbye to our grade 3 high school students. Last year was very difficult because the school was about to close for covid, so no parents were here to celebrate. This year, with masks and medical checks, we could have a ceremony that was almost “normal”.

Graduates, you should feel proud of what you have accomplished in the past 3 or 6 years. I hope that the lessons and habits you developed here at school serve you well in the challenges that lay ahead. I look forward to hearing about your success, so please come by and tell us about it. Good luck!

The sign we get to use once a year!
Various messages of congratulations posted outside the gym.
The student council prepared pictures and decorations for every class.
Students had a chance to tell their class, teachers, and parents about their feelings on a special day.
The class tshirts were on display.
Teachers also walked this journey with their students, so it is a special day for them too.

A busy next week… – Feb. 2021

Hello everyone,

Did you enjoy your new holiday on February 23rd? We have a new emperor, so that means his birthday is a new holiday. The old holiday, on December 23rd, is gone. It felt different to have two holidays in January.

Tomorrow the final tests of this year start. It is a chance for you to show your teachers, and yourself, what you have learned this year. I hope that you get a good rest tonight so that you have your best effort tomorrow. Grade 2 students, last year you had no final tests, so this is a new experience for you. I’m cheering for you!

Also, graduation is on Monday. I can’t believe it has been a year since the last ceremony already. When I think about last year’s ceremony, it felt like a miracle that it happened before school shut down. So much has changed in Japan, and around the world, that I think we should be thankful that we could finish this year. Seniors, please give thanks to your parents for their support over the last year.

Please stay safe, stay well, and stay strong as we push through the rest of the school year. Good luck!

Earthquakes – Feb. 2021

Hello everyone,

Yesterday afternoon was a little scary. During lunch, and then in long home room, there were many small earthquakes. There was no damage to our school, but some of them made the windows and doors shake. I looked at the Japan Meteorlogical Association website to see what was happening.

The site shows the location, time, and power of each earthquake. You can see how busy it was in Wakayama just during long home room. There is also one in Fukushima, which had amuch larger earthquake on Sunday. In fact, that earthquake was an aftershock earthquake to the big one in 2011.

We are almost at the ten year anniversary of that earthquake. Most of you were small children at that time, but it is a day I will never forget. I hope none of us have to experience an event that terrible again.

In the mean time, be safe and be prepared. Have a good week.

*aftershock: a smaller earthquake that comes after a big one. It can come moments, days, or even years later.