September 2014

Message from the Editor


September is here and I can finally stop Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” that’s been playing on repeat on my iTunes since mid-June. Indeed school is no longer out for summer and with summer’s end comes an end to trainings, orientations, and more unfortunately, vacations. I take it all the new Hyogo JETs survived Yashiro and probably were glad to have the opportunity to meet new people, gain useful information, and most importantly, eat fruit again. I know the Kobe JETs kept the sensei spirit alive by holding another very successful summer school topped off with a delicious Costco pizza party. Also many of you may have experienced your first time in the classroom with a number of open high school visits occurring over the past few weeks.


Although those endeavors are now finished, the heat remains coupled with the pressure of giving welcome speeches and introductory lessons (or often “How was your summer?” lessons for the veterans among us). Hopefully you have had time to acclimate not only to the weather, but to your neighborhood and school while simultaneously meeting new friends and future travel partners. There have been many opportunities to meet other JETs since last month during HAJET’s Summer Sonic get together and Welcome Party, as well as Kobe JETs’ Welcome BBQ and the AJET Block 6 Hawaiian Lu’au. If you have missed out, don’t worry! There are plenty of other events on the way including AJET Block 6 Welcome Picnic and the HAJET Book Club on September 13 and 21, respectively. Read more about them in the PR message written by Erika.


Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a step back to discuss what really matters this month: meeting your students! Prepare yourself to be overwhelmed with constant cries from your students of かわいい (cute) orかっこいい (cool) and a handful of inappropriate words or gestures – we all know bad ones are the first everyone tries to learn in a new language. Yet looking past those surface comments, there exists an opportunity for both you and your students to have meaningful conversations and cultural exchange. Greet your students in the morning, find them at lunch, or watch them play in their clubs, if you are feeling especially confident join them! There’s a much larger experience waiting outside of the classroom.


As for this month’s issue, enjoy our regular sections including our travel review brought back this month by Brittany, who shares the fun waiting to be had in Kinosaki. Universal Studios Japan’s newest summer addition, Harry Potter World, is also given a full review by Claire, and Louie Bertenshaw joins our contributing staff with an article on Total Physical Response teaching. Finally, meet a few new JETs who share why they decided to join the program.


Remember, when you are standing in front of your classes for the first time this month sweating due to the temperature and your nerves, take a breath, think back to your trainings, and believe in yourself. As a friend once said, “What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.”






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