I'm living in Kusatsu-shi, Shiga-ken for an undetermined amount of time and teaching English as a second language at a local high school. This journal is to document my experiences, thoughts, and to stay connected with others at home and abroad.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My ECC project: Earth Day posters

For this year on Earth Day, I had my ECC (English Communication Club) at Kusatsu High make posters to put up around the school in order to promote awareness, in English and in Japanese to reach the widest audience. I was really happy with the work that everyone put into the project. Three students and I put in about 90 minutes of work, and each of us came out with a poster that displayed not only our English (in my case, Japanese) ability, but our sincere care for the environment. This yellow one was done by a 3rd year (equivalent to a senior in the States), Yume Watanabe.

The pink belongs to the freshman, and newest member to the ECC, Motonari Koike.

Blue: 3rd year, Izumi Hattori.

And finally, my own. Sadly if I hadn't said so, people probably would have taken one look and said, "That was done by a high schooler?" incredulously because it looks inferior to the worst kindergarten student's hand. Luckily, style doesn't necessarily matter when it comes to thinking conscientiously about the environment, so I get an "A" for "effort", I suppose.

Regardless, the activity was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed seeing the students work with so much enthusiasm over something they could have easily blown off for internet chatting or video games. I've found that since introducing environmentally focused/Earth Day lessons since the beginning of this year, they've quickly become my students' favorites. I think this is definitely a positive sign that one of the best ways of teaching is by being motivated oneself, and sharing that passion with others. Sorry to end on a "Saved by the Bell" after-school special note, but we can find an honest place to connect with the kids we are teaching, and if not teaching, simply a point of open communication with another person, our ability to positively influence each others' lives is tremendous. Finding that place can sometimes seem impossible, but I hope everyone keeps trying. We don't really have many chances left to screw up this area of interpersonal communication.


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