Goodbye Old Teaching Job!

I’m not out of the teaching business completely, but I was so glad to finally be able to say good riddance to my old company and crazy boss at the end of March!

© J // Washing Rice Blog

© J // Washing Rice Blog

In Japan it’s customary to give departing teachers flowers or another small gift.  Although I was aware of this custom, the sheer amount of gifts I received was surprising and somehow much more than what the past departing teachers had received!    It was bittersweet to say goodbye to all of my kiddos, but I felt loved reading their letters and how many of them said they enjoyed having class together over the past five years.  I ran out of things to use as vases halfway through the week, and this was only a third of it all!

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The State of English Language Learning in Japan

Last year it was announced that Tokyo would be the host of the 2020 Olympics.  With a string of recent hardships, mainly the 2011 earthquake/tsunami and the fall out it caused in Fukushima, the announcement gave Japanese something to take pride in.  And since then, the government and news outlets have been playing the Tokyo candidate city victory clip over and over again to distract everyone from the very real problems the country would rather sweep under the rug.

I admit I felt disappointment when Tokyo made the cut.  In my opinion it seems irresponsible to host such a costly event with Fukushima still in dire condition and an impending rise in sales tax due to debt incurred by previous inept government spending.  Even looking beyond those major issues, I don’t believe Japan is ready to accept the amount of foreigners that will arrive at its shores in either attitude, disability/elderly citizen assistance (most public places, even in Tokyo, only offer squat toilets or stairs as options for getting around), nor adequate English language skills.

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