Though my life isn’t quite as quirky as that one teenage robot’s, I find that the days may be passing a little too quickly with my motley crew here at Technos. (I can’t believe I only have 2 weeks left!)
A typical work day actually depends on the day. One of the things I do like about this internship is that my week has some variety to it. So, typically throughout the week I attend various classes. I assist in teaching during Grammar, Japanese Culture, Group Presentation, and occasionally Pronunciation.
At the beginning of each class, the teacher and TAs walk into the room and are greeted. This greeting is led by class monitor, a role that changes daily. Then we are have a one-minute silent meditation, where the students are able to collect themselves, clear their minds, and focus for the lesson.
During most classes I observe the lesson and help with further explanations and examples, then the other TAs and I are paired with students to do the exercises with them so they can practice with a native speaker, and answer any other questions they have. At the end of these lessons the monitor leads the class in thanking and saying good-bye to the teacher and TAs. Why all the monitor hub-bub? In Japanese culture beginnings and endings are extremely important.
Every week, a fellow TA and I teach a class together about Western Culture to our first year English students during their homeroom. We’ve been teaching our students about Western Culture through popular music throughout the decades beginning with the 1930s. Every week the lesson is a little different. The first lesson we introduced our students to The Wizard of Oz, focusing on the pop culture and doing a listening exercise with them, the next week we introduced them to Frank Sinatra and focused on rhyme scheme, and this next week we’ll introduce them to Chuck Berry as well as teach them how to swing dance.
Once a week each TA gets to sit in on and from time to time participate in a class in the Kogakuin school that focuses on a very specific aspect of Japanese culture. One of the TAs goes to the ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) class, while the other TA and I attend the nihon buyo (traditional Japanese fan dancing) class. Since these classes are not in the Air Travel and Hotel School of Technos, none of these classes are taught in English, which means I get to flex my Japanese listening skills a bit in this class.
Aside from attending classes, I do the usual teaching assistance office work of grading homework, making quizzes, and making copies.
And of course I’m always a tutor for our students. So normally a spend a few hours throughout the day helping and explaining homework to students. Students will also come to me to flex their English skills in daily conversation. This is one of my favorite parts of interning because I really get to know the students through these conversations about anything and everything. And it’s amazing how much the students I see and have daily conversations with have improved.
The other main job I have is assisting with International Week, which is actually two weeks long, and is one of the biggest annual events held at Technos. Since I was a participant in International Week last year, a big part of my job was attending multiple meetings throughout the week to help prepare for the event. Every week I would attend the meeting for the opening ceremony party, so I helped the students come up with their theme for the party, how to organize it, and decorating the room when the event came. I also edited our MC’s script for the event. I also attended the Asakusa tour meeting, which involved planning a tour around Sensoji temple, Kappabashi street, and a make your own wax food sample shop.
I also attended a weekly meeting with all the directors of International Week, where we discussed over all and behind the scenes plans for the event. Since International Week tries to involve students from all departments, all of these meetings were held in Japanese, so I got to use more of my listening skills! Of course, I’ve only taken Japanese for a year so there were times when I couldn’t even use context clues to figure out what was happening and these were when the students studying English would try to translate and sometimes teach me new words.
Now that International Week is here, I attend less meetings and am playing more of a hospitality role, showing the students around the area and helping them get around and navigate. I also do a lot of chaperoning on the off-campus trips we take the International Week students and professors on. To get around Tokyo we have to take a lot of public transportation, which means we have to make sure no is a straggler and gets left behind on a train somewhere.
And now you know a little bit more about what I do here at Technos.
Thanks for reading!