I gave my speech in Japanese, although now I can’t really remember even doing it. My JTE assures me I was coherent. It was so hot in the gym. I didn’t really feel nervous though, I embarass myself in front of these people on a daily basis. Usually it’s seperately though. It seems more convienent to have them all gather so I can get it over with all at once. One of my favourite students (am I allowed to have favourites?) came up to me at the end of my speech to present me with these flowers. They are beautiful. She is a great student, and I hope she does well in the future. As I say thank you and look over my 300 kids (a small school as far as Junior High’s go), I can’t help but make eye contact as I search for the handful of kids – across each grade – that I had really connected with. As corny as it sounds, I really hope they do well in the future, and become who they want to be. I will miss seeing their familiar faces. I will miss their help when I stumble through something in class, always rescuing me by raising their hand (sometimes reluctantly) when no one wants to answer my questions, or coming to my aid in a translation. They probably don’t even realise the impact they have had; although I was given the opportunity to write a few of them notes, so I hope they get a sense of it.
Good bye Hojo Minami. We’ve had our ups and downs, but no one can take away the memories of my first year teaching; my first experiences in Japan are owed to you. いろいろ ありがとうございました。
Flowers & messages from my 3rd year students.