Don’t Forget Your Pencil!

Time for a quick rant about my job as an English teacher in Japan. Before continuing, please read my disclaimer. This post is about children who forget to bring a pencil to class. Do I even need to say more? Surely that’s like going swimming without you’re trunks! If you’re going to school, take a pencil. It really shouldn’t be any more complicated than that, right? Why then, do I have kids who repeatedly forget to bring a pencil? […]

Walk the dinosaur

When I was a kid, thirteen to be exact, Was (Not Was) released a song called ‘Walk the Dinosaur’, which was a huge hit in 1988. It’s one of those songs you don’t forget, and I tend to sing it to myself every time one of my elementary school students chooses the ‘dinosaur’ from a bunch of stamps I use for homework and rewarding the kids at the end of each lesson. Today, in my […]

Programming and English teaching

When I was about nine, my parents bought me a Commodore 16 home computer, the little brother to the hugely successful Commodore 64. This was to be a turning point in my life as I started computer programming, which eventually led to me a degree in Computer Science. While I was never really mathematical, I loved problem solving, particularly when I could create the problems I would have to solve. I find figuring out how […]

Back to School: Rule Reminders

Since I’m back to school tomorrow, I’ve been thinking again about my ESL lessons, and remembered an interesting moment from last term. I was getting frustrated with one of my kindergarten classes so right at the start of the lesson I told the children that if they crawl under the tables they will lose all their points. I usually give my kindy kids four points at the start of the lesson next to their names […]