Now that I have been back in school for a while, I thought I would share what my schedule looks like on a weekly basis. What I do at work, what do I do in my free time, that sort of thing.
This year, I teach a total of 22 classes. Those classes are split into A week and B week. Each week consists of 12-13 classes. Every week, I teach all the 1st graders and the 3rd grade students are the ones where I have A week and B week. That means that any day I could teach 2-4 classes. At my visit school, I teach 4 classes. Basically the same classes as last time but with different students. I can’t really tell you exactly what my schedule is because 1, that would be weird, and 2 it isn’t the same every week so I can’t really do that.
Depending on what week it is, I will do lesson planning on either Monday or Friday. I usually try to finish the lesson planning as soon as possible so that I have enough time to submit my lesson plans to all my teachers. With there being 2 different weeks for the 3rd graders, I have developed a color coded system. 1st graders are red, A week is orange, and B week is yellow. My planner also has each class listed 4 weeks in advance with each lesson that they are doing. I have found that numbering my lesson plans makes it easier to communicate with all my JTEs which class is being taught which lesson. Because of the school schedule, I teach about 4-8 different lessons a week. It can get confusing and numbering the lesson plans helps me keep my lessons in order. I teach with 10 different Japanese teachers.
I try to prepare for lessons a day ahead of time. I usually go easy on myself and only have simple lessons where I just make copies for each class of handouts to be used. Once a month, I will do something different and that usually takes 2-3 days to prepare for, such as a game or a special lesson. With 22 classes I try not to overwhelm myself. The most recent project that took a lot of my time was creating charade cards. I have to make double because I have over 700 students. They are going to get worn out after doing 10 classes so I need back up when that happens. That project took me about 2 days to prepare for. It is stressful, but know that it will be used in almost all 22 classes is satisfaction enough.
It doesn’t happen as often but when I do have free time I will study Japanese. The next couple of weeks I will have free time due to midterms so I will have plenty of time to myself. Kind of like, a short break. I will be paid for my presence. During lunch, I will go on Facebook, play Kingdom Hearts on my phone, or take a nap in the lounge room. I most often take a nap at my visit school, because those students wear me out the most.
I typically get off work at 410, but I usually leave around 415-420. On Mondays I stay later to finish lesson planning, Tuesdays I have a Japanese lesson, so I get permission to leave early on that day (it takes me about 20-30 minutes to bike there), on Wednesdays I have English club after school so I usually leave close to 5pm, Thursdays I am at my visit school and take the bus, so I don’t get home until close to 515, and Fridays are my “freedom” days where I start gathering my things to leave at exactly 410.
If I didn’t get a chance to study Japanese work, then I will head to Starbucks (2 blocks from my school) and study there for about 2 hours. When I get home, I will immediately change clothes and slouch on the couch with my phone. My routine is Facebook, Vine, YouTube, and Kingdom Hearts. After that, I feel recharged enough to do laundry or dishes and make myself something to eat. If the weather is bad, I skip the Starbucks and leave my texts at work so they don’t get damaged and just study vocab. (I use the app Study Blue, ICYWW). I have a little mini white board that I use to practice kanji. I will also do bookbinding, video editing, or piano playing. Last year I was really into reading and had even joined a book club, but due to the craziness from the school year ending and starting again, the members kind of stopped participating so I haven’t read anything. Plus, I haven’t had the interest to read for a while. I am sure I will pick up a book at some point, but for now, I will just make books.
Well, I think I covered everything. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the guestbook or fb comment. Thanks for reading!