Earlier I had received an invitation to join one of my elementary schools for their study matter presentations to their parents. The timing was less than ideal, as it had me waking up a bit early on weekend, when I like to recharge for the week ahead. I wasn’t exactly elated about driving there, but I definitely knew that I would be in my interest from a PR standpoint. It is good to show my involvement to the parents, even if it means dragging my tired self to freezing gymnasiums where I understand little of what is said.
Anyway, I arrived right on time, so they got right to it. The classes are so small, so they were segmented as 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 grade collaborative work.
1 & 2 年生
These two kids gave a presentation on the things that they learned for each season. It was really basic, but well done. They had a number of little props and such, signs with pictures of the things they were talking about. They looked into things like plants, going to a local farm to talk to the farmers, frogs in the fall, and also details of their field trip. It was actually this presentation that I could understand the best, since they talk about such simple subjects and don’t talk too fast.
3 & 4 年生
The third and fourth graders number 4 and I were one of the more interesting presentations. They talked about going to a local tea farm and learning everything about how to pick the leaves, process them, and eventually bringing them to market. I liked that it was all local, and also because it was really interesting to hear about such an important element of Asian culture. The highlight of their presentation was certainly the snacks that they had given out to all in attendance. They had made green tea cakes, cookies, and shortbread. I actually helped with some of this, though it was really nice to actually eat it, plus it was delicious. I ate them all immediately, got some leftovers and then ate those too…
5 & 6年生
Last were the fifth and sixth graders, who talked about their study of birds. They had made some bird houses, and bird feeders and put in different places around the school grounds. For the presentation, they spoke on the success of these bird accommodations, and also gave some of the information they learned about local species of birds. It was a good time for sure.
Sitting on the floor is expected of students, and available to anyone else. I’m wise enough to know that style of sitting is painful and entirely unpleasant, so I opted for the later.
After the presentations, the older students got on stage with banners that read why they loved their school. It lasted about 2 minutes, but was a nice little something.
At the end of it, the principal gave a speech, though I have no idea what he was saying. It all seemed a bit more technical and aimed towards the parents. After it was all over, I chummed it up with a few of the parents, and then I was time to return home to do nothing of significance. The event was pretty cool, and is standard fare in any Japanese school. I couldn’t really see it catching on in America, since parents are already dragged out to plenty of choir concerts and such. I’m sure that I’ll be going to a few more in my time here.