This week I said sayonara to my elementary and junior high schools. After nearly 3-years at Hachiman Junior High, 2-years at Shinmachi Elementary and 1-year at Kamihachiman Junior High, it was time to say good-bye to all my schools. As I’ve written before, the end of March marks the end of the school year in Japan. This is also the time when Japanese teachers are transferred to different schools by a central Board of Education, which oversees the entire profession. This week I gave three good-bye speeches in Japanese, which was a little nerve-racking. Due to the fact, I teach at Shinmachi Elementary School once a week on Thursdays, I was given my own personal send-off prior to the rest of the leaving staff. All the elementary school students gathered in the gym Thursday morning for a short, but sweet farewell ceremony. At my junior high schools, my departure was announced with all the other leaving teachers at the closing ceremony. Although most teachers are aware whether they will be transferred or not, the announcements are kept a secret until the last school day. At the junior high schools, departing teachers are lined up in front of the entire student body and presented flowers and gifts. Last Friday night was also the sayonara enkai at all three of my schools. A small challenge trying to make an appearance at all three of my school’s parties, but definitely a lot of fun. This was truly an unforgettable week that words can hardly describe. Pictures may help complete the story.
Note: School and Work album – a complete look back..