I generally try not to speak Japanese around the students, and prefer they not know how much I may or may not understand. It was tested today though, when I was chatting in the hallway with some students.
One girl pointed at herself and said “神!” and pointed at her friend and said “ゴミ!” The second girl then punched the first. She had it coming though–kami essentially means God, and gomi essentially means garbage. I couldn’t help laughing!
Later though, my supposed lack of Japanese came in pretty handy…
Student: “Alice-sensei, お酒を飲みますか?”
Me: Uh…is this kid asking if I’ve been drinking? I not hungover or anything! No, he’s probably just being a twit…“No Japanese! I don’t speak Japanese!”
Student: “Alcohol! Alcohol…飲みますか?”
Me: “Sorry, I don’t understand!”
Then I taught his friends how to say “Crazy boy!” in English. It was a good day!
Anyone have any fun teacher moments? I love those times when I look at a student and can’t believe what just came out of their mouth!
I have one 1st year who was blown away that Panda was the same in English and Japanese. I know call him Panda-chan and tell him he’s my pet Attack Panda to be unleashed if the other students misbehave. He takes the ribbing as well as can be expected, and his friends crack up every time.
That’s awesome! My kids are all obsessed with monkeys, and one of them regularly declares that he is one. He’s weirdly serious about it, like, Yeah, duh. I’m a monkey, of course. It’s hilarious!
Last weekend I had a class of three 4 year olds and they were going nuts and shouting all kinds of stuff in Japanese and then they started to say that things were ‘up’ and first it was 上！先生上！見て上！うんち上！おしこ上！うんち！うんち！上！ I had to get them to stop saying poop, but it was so hard to not lay there on the floor laughing forever.
Today I have this little girl who’s about 3 years old and she LOVES to just chat with me. She told me 外気持ちでしょ？今日は Sunny だいよ！
I’m not sure how many of them really know that I can understand them… but most of the time I just nod along and smile at them, and they just chat and chat forever and the moms find it hilarious.
I think my favorite moment ever though was when I had a boy tell me おれの足ジッス入った！
Oh, Lord…does ジッス mean what I think it means? And why do they all love poop so much? Ha!
Yeah, can be pretty funny. Once recently I was talking to some girls on the volleyball team, and one of the kohai was pointing at her sempai and saying they were mean. They then started saying “fuck you!” to her in English. They all laughed and seemed to be joking, but was a bit of a surprise.
OH! Actually the same alcohol kid, after class, ran into the other classroom and shouted “Fuck you!” at one of his friends. I didn’t want to make a big deal of it, because I knew that would teach him that it’s a great way to get a rise out of someone, but it caught me so off guard I couldn’t help a little friendly shouting. (As opposed to scary “I’m really mad at you now” type shouting, it was more the “Crazy boy! Knock it off!” type)
No Japanese student stories but I worked at an elementary school for 7 years and one day one of my students came up to me and said, “Miss Hammer, you need to get your hair did.” 0_o 6 year old fashion police. Gotta love it. We did a creativity activity to judge how creative and imaginative the students were. We were using construction paper and my favorite student held hers up (Which looked like a mask), we had to ask what it was and document it. She got this BIG grin on her six year old face before declaring, “It’s a bra~!” and proceeded to demonstrate how to put it on. I miss my first graders.
When I introduce myself to third graders, that always gets great questions. 先生、アメリカ人ですね？－うん。アメリカ人よ。－じゃ、先生。。。。UFOみたことある？This third grader seemed to genuinely believe all Americans have seen UFOs. And the reactions I get when I tell them I live in Japan (GASP I don’t go back to America every night and come back in the morning) . . . are hilarious.
I’ve had plenty of craziness. A lot of it I’ve forgotten, though. I do have a 4 year old boy who loves to shout all the words. He’s quite smart and gets things very quickly. Always smiling, lots of fun to teach. Whenever I check his homework, he says full sentences, which is quite good. But the kid can’t seem to sit down and stay sitting. He falls over!
Another thing I always get is when kids try to spell “six.” Many will write “sex” instead. They get no reaction out of me, though. Some probably know what it means.
And then there was the 9 year old girl who asked me about love. We were doing family members in class, and I showed my family tree. She then went up to the whiteboard and put a heart between my sister and I and said “Jay Dee love sister?” And yes, I know exactly what she meant. I just had to laugh at that. She was trying to joke around about that.