Monday, May 07, 2007

Kyoto-Sensei, Vice Principal & Golden Week Chat

In Japan, vice principals are called Kyoto-sensei (教頭先生). At most junior high schools and senior high schools in Japan there is typically only one kyoto-sensei (教頭先生) and one principal koucho-sensei (校長先生). However in America, the system which I am familiar, there can be anywhere from 1-5 vice-principals, and typically only one principal.

Well anyway, my kyoto-sensei (that's what we call him), whereas in America they typically call a vice-principal Mr. BlahBlahBlah, is a very kindly and sincere type. He is very easy going, doesn't get angry very often, works diligently and is always available whenever you need him. He was an economics teacher keizai, (経済) (けいざい) and also has made it a habit to study English. He comes by my desk which is about 30 feet or 10 meters from his to have a little chat.

Today he came by to ask about my Golden Week. I didn't have any morning classes today so I was buried in some reading that I wanted to catch up on before my afternoon classes. So he crept up on me like an old rhino needing to take a piss in the Serengeti. He asked in a peep-like voice, "Big Booger sensei, how was your Golden Week? Did you go anywhere?" To which I replied, "I didn't do a thing this Golden Week. I just slept for about 10 hours a day." I then got curious about what he did for Golden Week, so I asked him, "What about you?"

Note: Golden Week is a series of holidays at the end of April and beginning of May that typically constitute only 3-4 days, and not necessarily a full week of holiday. This year Golden Week began on April 30th, and ended on May 6th. However we still had classes on May 1st, and 2nd which kind of takes the week out of Golden Week.

He went on to tell me that he went golfing once, in a place called Tsuchiyama 土山 which is only a few minutes from our school by car. He said he did a little farming at his tambo田圃, field, and that he drove a tractor to till some soil to get it ready for planting rice. He talked ever-so-silently because he doesn't like it when teachers hear him speaking in English. Some Japanese have complexes about the proficiency of their English and they don't want to be ridiculed or chided over mispronunciation or incorrect grammar usage.

After that he moseyed on back to his desk situated at the front of the teacher's room and I went back to whatever it was that I was doing at the time. I often look forward to the little chats with kyoto-sensei. I often wonder what he is going to say next.


Ginger said...

Hey Booger (?), cool blog! Keep it up! DutchGinger

SimpleFish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SimpleFish said...

I'm very interesting in education at Japan.

Can you please help me to find a sensei at Kyoto Daigaku

Anonymous said...

kyoto sensei... i like how the japanese called their vice principal. How much is the kyoto sensei's salary? is it the same as the VPs in the US?
I like Japan.