18 March 2013

Diary of an ALT: School's Out

Well I've reached the end of my teaching adventure. Sad face. There are no more official days of school left (although there are some standby days left meaning I could still get a call but as the schools are so busy it's unlikely to happen). On the one hand it's lovely to have some time off before I have to go job hunting again but it was also a little emotional on my last day in my favourite schools, especially because I'm a gigantic sap who gets teary eyed over the smallest things. I wasn't allowed to tell my teachers or students that I wouldn't be coming back next year. I assume this rule is in place so that you don't upset the kids on your last day with them but it seems a little odd to me seeing as then you don't get to say a proper goodbye to them and the fifth graders will return in a months time to see you've mysteriously disappeared and been replaced (and they better not love the other teacher more than me!) I got some lovely goodbye cards and letters from some of my students, presents, photographs and one of my teachers even bought me my own hanko stamp with my name on it which was a totally awesome present.

My hanko. It says my name in Japanese characters. I am gonna stamp the crap outta things

Presents from a student

That lovely circular headed character is me drawn by one of my students

One teacher translated the kids' messages online so they could write them out in English for me

On my last day in my favourite school a small sixth grade girl approached me and handed me a letter which she had written in Japanese, translated using the internet and painstakingly written the English translation under the Japanese. This girl was one of the shyest, quietest girls in the class and when she handed me this letter saying she always looked forward to and enjoyed my classes and wanted to study English extra hard so she could speak it some day my heart almost broke. I must have been doing something right.


  1. I want a hanko!!

    That's awesome about the letters, always nice to know you've made a difference eh! :)

  2. Hi Ciara, I randomly found your blog today... ten years ago I was sitting in a language school in Hatchobori (just near Fukuya) and wondering why I had just moved to Hiroshima. I only stayed a year and a half, but I have nothing but great memories. Except for Dreamination... can't believe that waste of time is still going!


Thanks for the comment random human. I will put you on my list of people to rescue when the zombie apocalypse comes. Promise.

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