Monday, May 26, 2014

Swarmed By Children

Teaching English in Japan is such an awesome experience.  Every day kids do some of the craziest and funniest stuff you will witness.  I am constantly bombarded by kids trying to get me to sign their notebooks, draw pictures for them, or just talk with them in English or Japanese.  Every time I visit an elementary school it's like being a member of One Direction and getting attacked by 200-300 kids trying their best to grab your attention.

Sometimes it's fun and happy attention.  Kids will come up randomly and say "My name is Tanaka Kumi.  What's your name?"  Or "何人ですか。” (What's your nationality?)  I often answer them and it's really fund leaving kids with a great impression of westerners and how energetic, happy and caring we can be.  I want kids to know that no matter what they have a friend in me.

Well some kids take that to heart and before long, bony fingers go plunging for your bum old, or little hands try to grab your package.  Often times kids run all over you and try to tickle you.  Most of the times its playful and if you are skilled you can nip it in the bud from the get go by announcing "NO TOUCHING MY PRIVATES!!!"  Or something like that in a big, clear voice with a powerful connotation.  Kids get they've crossed the line and most times they will stop.

But some kids, let's call them the future perverts and stalkers of Japan, they just won't stop regardless of what you do.  It's these kids that make a day really tough.  You'll be strutting down the hallway and all of a sudden bam, a finger goes right up your butt hole.  Or they'll smack you in the sensitive regions leaving you in pain.  Female colleagues often have their breasts stroked, flummoxed, flipped, pinched and so on.  Kids are of course curious but these kids of behaviors have to stop.

I make it a point that after I tell a kid to stop twice and they continue to take them to the teachers room, tell their homeroom teacher what that kid did and then drag them into the principal's office as well.  Usually that stops it cold turkey and the days can go on freely.

But all in all I have to say that barring the sexual harassment issues, days at elementary schools are amazingly fun, exciting, and go by in a flash because you are constantly doing something.  I really am quite happy to be teaching in Japan.  I just wished I could find a position of a permanent nature.  Most teaching jobs for foreigners are contract work with the longest contracts lasting 5 years.  I really want to keep doing this job forever and am always on the lookout for a job that will allow me to retired being swarmed by kids in school!

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