Wednesday, December 03, 2008
as most of you know, i teach all of my classes with partner teachers who speak both english and japanese. i am the "native speaker." most of the time i trade off with the other teacher during the class, sometimes bearing most of the responsibility for the lesson, but i have never started class without the other teacher present. last week, however, one of the teachers i work with was occupied by some crisis when our class was supposed to begin. he waved me towards the door and told me to go ahead to class. i thought he would just be absent for a minute or two, but when he didn't come, i figured i should start class. silence fell over the room as i faced them, and i said the word i had heard hundreds of times, hajimemashou? "Let's begin." The question in my voice broke the tension, and everyone laughed. They rose, we bowed, and I started class alone for the first time. It felt good!