After 7 months of teaching in Japan I am back at the beginning, starting over again. I went through training (again), figuring out a new place, and starting a new schools. Except this time its much much easier, and I don’t feel quite as lost. Its like the last 7 months are serving as a vague roadmap to moving and adjusting to a new location.
I really went back to where I started 2 weeks ago when I went to Hiroshima for training part 2. The 3 people who changed contracts were asked to attend training again because our new contract was considerably different. I hadn’t been to Hiroshima since the first training and it was amazing how much my perspective of traveling and Japan have changed in the last 7 months. The first time I was in Hiroshima I was tired/hot, lost, and completely overwhelmed. This time around I found my own way through the city, and seemed to have my wits about me. Training was almost a breeze because I knew what to expect at the schools, and what it was like to actually teach the classes. Its nice to know that there has been some sort of personal growth in the time that I have been here.
I’m also back to figuring out a new area and making new friends. I arrived in Kanonji with a car so I was able to wander around and cover a decent amount of ground in the first couple days that I was here. I also had everything I needed for my home so settling into my apartment was a breeze. Making friends however, this has been a little more difficult. Okayama was a much bigger city so there were over 30 ALT’s in public schools alone, Kanonji has 4. I arrived in Okayama with 5 friends from training and made more friends from there. When I got to Kanonji I had to start from scratch. I have already met some great people and hopefully will develop some new friendships.
The schools have almost been the easiest part. Most elementary schools run on a similar schedule and routine so I knew the basics of each school from the first day. I was still pretty nervous before my first day, but it was nowhere near the complete panic I had back in September. However being in a smaller area, not many of the teachers speak English, but that’s just more motivation to learn Japanese.
Look out Kanonji the Ellie train just rolled into town!!