Second Grade

This week the twins started second grade. Here are my daughter’s textbooks. Lilia has two books for music class, as well as three textbooks for Japanese (she has the standard one, and a slow-paced one and then something else). Last year, Jio had a textbook for P.E. Who knew you needed a book to learn how to do jumping jacks?

So about the teachers. Lilia has the same homeroom teacher as last year, but her special helper teacher has changed. No longer do we have the dour and conservative Miss N. Now we have the bright and good-natured Ms. Y., who if I recall correctly, taught a deaf boy with ADD or something like that, last year. Miss N. was always in a bad mood by the end of the day, and I felt kind of sorry for my girl. I understand that she is difficult. She’s extremely willfull and easily distracted (except when she’s being stubborn about something), but she’s also a cheerful and funny kid. I was happy to see Ms. Y. laughing when I went to pick up Lilia yesterday. My friend L., who taught high school in Australia, says that high school teachers should never teach small children. Maybe she’s right. Last year Miss N. moved down from the high school to be Lilia’s teacher. Now she’s gone.

Jio didn’t get the rumored kibishi (strict) teacher he expected. He said his new teacher is nice, and he came bursting out of school on the first day with a big smile on his face. The woman took one look at me, turned to Jio, and said, “Does your mother speak Japanese?” I found this very off-putting and wanted to slap her, but maybe things will get better. At any rate, Jio’s anxiety seems to have died down a bit.


4 thoughts on “Second Grade

  1. And, for any of your non-Japan-based readers, they have to lug these books back and forth everyday — no keeping texts at school. 😦

    My husband is a high school teacher. I see a lot of wisdom in your friend L’s comment!!

  2. Lilia was always forgetting her music book (or rather I was) last year because she only had music class a couple days a week, and the teacher complained if she brought all of her books to school every day. Why couldn’t she just leave it at school? She has a desk and a cubby, and it’s not like she ever used it at home.

  3. My son got an ‘F’-type mark (gambarimashoo or something instead of dekimashita) on his second term report last year. But then when I read what it was I realized that it was basically I who had gotten my first ‘F’ — you guessed it, it was about being prepared for class, i.e. having all the right textbooks there each day! Not only why in the heck can’t they keep these things at school, but why in the heck do first graders need textbooks anyway?? As you wrote, do you really need a book to show you how to do jumping jacks?

  4. Oooo, wait until you guys come to the year (third or fourth) where they get the book with the naked boy and girl in it. Man, it caused a stir. I remember some mothers threw a fit in Tokyo or somewhere about it being inappropriate. I saved Julyan’s test, picture, arrows pointing to important differences…he got a hundred, but boy was he embarrassed about that!

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