Foreign English teachers in Japanese Schools must do a lesson called a jikoshoukai. It means "self introduction." Depending on how many schools you teach at, how large your schools are, and how often they change, you could introduce yourself anywhere from 3 to 148 times a year. I only did it 14 times if I don't count Koriyama 6th JHS, where I visit as a sort of guest (its complicated, don't ask). The lesson is further influenced by the teachers and how much freedom and they allow for this. Some teachers only allow me to speak English & only allow 10 minutes. Others let me do the whole thing in Japanese for an hour.
If I have complete creative control, everyone has a good time learning about me, Arizona, and the English language. I've perfected a standup routi..(cough, cough) er.. lesson that leaves everyone in stitches. I play a game that gets kids asking simple questions in English. I have great pictures of myself, friends and family. I also shamelessly promote Arizona as a tourist destination (I deserve some special recognition from the governor for this).
Yoshida Sensei at Asaka JHS gave me the whole hour with the stipulation that I use English before Japanese so students could listen for keywords they learned in Elementary school. She also gave the kids a worksheet. The worksheet required students to ask me questions in English and write the anser. It also contained a space where students can draw a portrait of me. I thought the impressions I gave the students were rather interesting.
I intended to post this in April, but I couldn't find the time to scan or properly edit the pictures. April is when the school year starts and schools recieve new students. But I still can't figure out how to crop them in any of the programs I have. So if you don't mind blowing them up, you can see some interesting portraits that my students drew of me.
This one is my absolute favorite. It tells me that my time at the gym is finally paying off. I know Japanese people think foreigners are big and tall, but I'm not sure I'm ready to take on Godzilla.
Another favorite that tells me my time at the gym is not a complete waste. While I'm flattered, where does he get off thinking I look like this? I agree I'm getting a little definition in my shoulders, but those are definitely not my abs.
The girl's impressions of me seem to be a little more realistic. Note the believable size and receding hairline.
Here's one where I'm actually smiling. This was refreshing, because I'm certain that I was laughing and smiling with the kids throughout the whole lesson. I was surprised when most of the pictures came back with me not smiling. I must have forgotten to wear a tie that day.