Stand, sit, bow: it’s time to take your seats, everyone because class is in session!
Our fourth lesson brings in the wonderful Kame Blair, taking up the renewed position of Minister of Fun! And what better a person to handle the role than Kame, who’s soon to become friend to all!
Kame, an American, is rolling into her 2nd Year with a smile down in Koriyama. When she’s not making school cool, she’s having a blast outdoors, keeping her cool with yoga, relieving stress with karaoke, or breaking bread with friends over some good food. Kame likes to keep the good times rolling no matter what she does: keep them rolling by checking out the Current Council page for more about her!
Kame got back to me the same day I asked her these questions, and gave me a bright smile. That was to be expected: it’s hard to feel bad when you’re around someone with “Fun” in their title. Let’s see how many points Kame can score when it comes to fun:
Q. If you could choose anyone, dead or alive, in Japan to team teach with for one day with, who would you choose and why?
Kame: I would choose my friend Pauline, who is an ALT in Shinjuku! She is amazing. Our personalities complement each other well and I bet we would have some really interesting ideas for topics to team teach.
Q. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and how would it help you in the classroom?
Kame: I would love to be able to fly! This would probably not help me in the classroom at all, except if I really wanted to get the students’ attention. If I was having a bad day in class, I could just jump out the window and take a lap.
Q. Which Pokémon best represents your teaching style and why?
Kame: I guess I would choose Ditto because I am always trying to change things up! I like to keep English lessons interesting by trying new activities, games, and formats for lessons. In addition, depending on which JTE I am teaching with, I may be expected to take on a different role (lead teacher, co-teacher, or editor of speeches and papers).
Finally, Ditto is a great Pokemon character for my teaching style because, hey, sometimes things don’t go as planned and it helps if I can think on my feet and switch to something new, instead of stubbornly persisting through an AWFUL lesson! So there you have it—Ditto is my teaching spirit Pokemon.
Q. What’s the one thing (item, a snack, ect.) you think every ALT needs to have to have a successful class?
Kame: Hmm. This one is tricky, as everyone is very different.
For me, I think patience, a sense of humor, and some backup games you can pull out at any time would be most useful. Patience, because sometimes your students will not talk. At all. Just silence, as they blankly stare at you. Other classes may never stop talking.
Sometimes JTEs aren’t great at communicating what they need from you or assume you know more than you actually do about the schedule, etc. In these situations, instead of getting upset, it is better to just move on, and later send all of your ALT friends a text about how ridiculous the situation you found yourself in was. They can relate. You all can laugh.
Finally, have backup games like Taboo, Charades, etc that you can easily play if you find yourself with time left, and a JTE staring at you wondering what to do next.
Q. What’s your favorite music to lesson plan to?
Kame: Honestly, Enya for life. Her music is calm, relaxing, and helps me to focus.
Well, looks like someone’s got full marks in my book! I hope that you all gave Kame a 10 out of 10 for such genuine replies. Thanks so much for your answers!
You can contact Kame directly via firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s got a lot of great ideas in the work for this year, and has promised to bring the fun: all you have to do is bring yourselves and get ready for a good time!
Lesson five looms on the horizon: well, on Friday, June 8. Keep that perfect attendance: I’m taking roll, after all. Plus, I know you don’t want to miss out on any of these wonderful representatives.
Well, there’s the bell!
Stand, bow, and see you later: class dismissed!