Saturday, June 25, 2016

My Favorite Memory from JET- Daniel Stone, Assistant Language Teacher, Kawaguchi BOE, Saitama Prefecture, Japan

My Favorite Memory from JET】#3

We are posting a series of stories from the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program Alumni. The Alumni will feature some of their favorite experiences in Japan. This week we will feature Daniel Stone:

"My favorite experience with JET occurred on my second year. It was a cool, clear day in October in Saitama at one of the biggest elementary schools in our school district. All of the stars had aligned as I worked really hard my first year to improve my Japanese since at the elementary schools, there weren't many, if any teacher that knew English which was different at the junior high schools with the Japanese Teacher of English. I also worked really hard developing a "bag of tricks" and improving my conditioning since lessons at the elementary schools required a lot of energy and non-textbook material and games.
On this particular day in October, I was really connecting with a group of 2nd graders. Unfortunately, it was my last day, but I was going to return the following January. I bid farewell and told the students, "See you next January!" Mata, Tsugi no ichi gatsu, ne. With that, the students all smiled and cheered and began to chant over and over, Tsugi no ichi gatsu!!
I remember walking back to the nearby train station and saying to myself, "How many people are getting this chance? I remembered my days of working long and hard hours a few prefectures away on the American aircraft carrier, Independence, my first time to Japan and I remembered my days stuck in the "rat race" in LA. I thought to myself how I could be stuck in those bad situations but I was blessed to have the good fortune of being able to be back in Japan putting a smile of children's faces."
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