A few students were absent today, so I’ll update this next week (pending attendance).
A note about pronunciation for the names… Japanese vowels sound like:
a – “ah” like in ox
e – “ey” like hey
i – “ee” like in kiwi
0 – “oh” as in close or open
u – “ooh” as in flute
Brothers Mahito, 8, and Yusei, 6, and Maki. These kids are the greatest. They laugh hysterically at silly jokes like me saying I’m 10 years old or that my name is Frank. Mahito loves chocolate, Stitch, and singing. Yusei likes to tease his brother (today he kept breathing on him), and Maki is the sweetest girl. She’s one of few students to call me Michelle (the rest say sensei or teacher). Maki loves writing her name in script all over her homework, reads very well, and usually ends up explaining things for Yusei when he doesn’t understand. Today, when her mom dropped her off, Mrs. Ohki said that Maki was nervous all week about the picture because she thought I wouldn’t be her teacher anymore. Such a sweetheart!
Mayu, 12, and Yuka, 11. There’s a boy in this class, too, but he was absent today. The girls looked so cute I didn’t want to disappoint them with no photo, so I’ll upload another of the full class next week. Mayu and Yuka are studying high school level English and are quite good. They’re very sweet, polite girls. Yuka reminds me a lot of myself. She’s always color-coordinating things and drawing little Pooh-san (Winnie the Pooh) in her books. I’m teaching them to play Guess Who in class.
Anna is 14 and starts high school next year. She’s my boss’ daughter, and, having one American parent and one Japanese parent, her English is very good. Anna loves to watch House and her favorite movie is Pirates of the Caribbean. She just got a puppy whom she named Noah a few months ago.
Sayaka, 12. Can you tell who her favorite singer is? Sayaka might be my favorite student. She’s so sweet and always talks to me in class. She’s got a 7-year-old pet golden retriever (can’t remember his name, though). Last year she was always hungry in class because she went straight from school to cram school to English school. She always asks to keep her homework sheets if there’s a correction so she can study it, and if we ever have extra time in class she likes to guess the English from reading Japanese flash cards. Sayaka also loves Harry Potter and writes super fast. At the end of class she gave me a present and asked me for a copy of the photo next week.
Ayaka, 12, is a bit of an odd girl. She adopts funny voices in class and peruses through my boss’ extensive bookshelf, usually saying, “I not read.” She pretends to not like English and homework, but her pronunciation is spot on and she usually tries to talk to me about things. Ayaka usually reads in the waiting area until seconds before class, runs in, points to the clock, and says, “Safe!” She likes science fiction, especially the popular Japanese anime Evangalion and Harry Potter. She and Sayaka are friends from dancing school.
Mitsuki, 12, is in her first year of junior high (as are all the other 12-year-olds). She’s sweet, if soft-spoken and has incredibly neat handwriting and a notebook with monsters all over it that still makes me laugh after four months of teaching her. Takoyaki (octopus dumplings) are one of her favorite foods, and she was super excited because she had a takoyaki party at her house yesterday.