Last Friday I had a demo class with my JTE. This essentially meant that teachers came from all over Kagawa to watch us teach together. Yikes.
We had been preparing the lesson for ages (seriously, about a month) which was a good thing, because by the time the demo class actually came around, I knew the material really, really well.
The demo class was with one of my favourite year nine classes, and the theme of the lesson was “Let’s tell Ms. Hannah about a famous Japanese person.” Seriously. We even had it printed out in giant letters and stuck along the top of a blackboard.
I got to learn about Matsuko Delax (a cross dressing columnist), Kagawa Shinji (a soccer player playing for Dortmund), Watanabe Mayu (a seventeen year old in the pop group/ soft core pornography group AKB48) and Ashida Mana (a child actor who sings the only Japanese song I know). And because we ran the same class with the other two 9th grade classes I have with my JTE, I got to learn about them three times over!
Most of the information I got about the celebrities was pretty prosaic. Height, age, birthday, birthplace, occupation etc., but there were a couple of excellent moments.
One group told me, absolutely deadpan, that Matsuko Delax is sometimes in a gay bar in Shibuya.
Not sure how they came across that information, or why they felt it was a key fact, but now I know…
One kid shared Mayuyu’s catchphrase (which translates to “everyone is always looking at Mayuyu” or something) but obviously felt that he had to do it in a high pitched voice and with a bit of a wiggle to his hips.
My outstanding favourite moment in every class though, was when the group talking about Mana-chan would sing her song “Maru Maru Mori Mori” for me. All the kids here know the song and the dance to go with it, and they are absolutely hilarious when they sing this childrens’ nonsense song with the most serious little expressions.
The class went really well, and I was really stoked with the work the kids did, but I was SO relieved when it was over and I could disappear for the weekend.
And I never want to hear about Japanese celebrities ever again.