Thursday, July 13, 2006

Child Care - Day 1

At this time of the year, Ryukoku students are getting opportunities to experience different jobs by participating in community service. This Thursday and Friday, many students are learning about various jobs within and around Saga on an individual basis. I am going with Erika and one of her classmates to work at the children's preschool/nursery, Shoku Bataiken. I was very excited to attend. The school is new and very nice. The classrooms are all connected to an open roof courtyard with a playground. It has a gym and even a small, shallow pool! There is also a large playfield with more playground sets and a covered pond with pet turtles. I really liked the set up. We rode our bikes to the school and arived at 8 o'clock. We were separated to our own classrooms and met our room's teachers. I learned that from 8 -10 was free playground time, and that the students all arive during that time frame. There were already a few kids entering and I was able to meet them. The class I was in were 4 year olds. They weren't shy at all! They were so lively and cute! They don't know English, but they did immediately comprehend that I wasn't from Japan. They asked if I was American and spoke English. I was very impressed with their observations. They also surprised me that they knew the phrase "hello my name is ...". They introduced themselves to me in both languages! Of course we couldn't fully communicate, but I was able to converse with the toddlers very easily. They refered to me only as sensei, haha. (well, shenshei if you want their cute toddler accent). They couldn't grasp Chris. Kurisu (as it is phonetically) just made them giggle and say, "Haha, KURISUMASU!" (Haha, CHRISTMAS!) Like all toddlers, each one attaches to you as a "best friend". So many times during the time on the playground, a new toddler just grabbed my hand (and I didn't even know them) and just lead me to their fun activity. I really liked helping out at the preschool! The pictures are of some students going to pompom dance ( I'll explain in the next post) I am in the momo (peach blossom) class, (each class is a different flower) so my class wears pink hats. The second picture is the classroom and an excited early arrival, and the last picture is the large playground and the turtle pond.

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