What a wonderful year! Our school theme for 2010 was “Look for the Good!” The school year was truly good - better than good! I’d like to share just a few of the many highlights.
I’m so happy to say that several groups of students continue to spontaneously compliment each other during and after class. They often say, “Good reading!” “Good question.” “Great speaking!” and “Nice picture!” To see them encourage and support each other like this truly inspires.
It was also very good to see the growth in greetings and vocabulary skills amongst our kindergarten students. They are greeting more confidently and smoothly before class - making eye contact and often greeting each other in English, too! During class, concentration levels are usually high. Many take turns holding hands while singing and playing English games. They often encourage each other with “Speak English,” “Say thank you!” or “Say here you are!”
Here’s a quick story that always makes me smile. One of my new and youngest nensho students last year cried as class began for many weeks. More often than not, he tugged at his mom, begging her to sit with him during the class. She did, though gradually slipping away sooner and sooner as he gained confidence. Then one day, about six months later a new student joined. She was very hesitant about joining the group and cried a little as class began. In two winks, that same young boy was sitting by her side, patting her arm gently and asking, “Why are you crying?”
The older students also grow and mature so quickly! The great majority of them make an enthusiastic effort to greet, do small talk and speak out in class. They consistently complete homework on time and check out library books each week. This has been so good!
What’s more, so many students are improving in their abilities to write English book summaries. I have been pleasantly surprised by how well they find the main or most interesting point and then express it through writing in their own English words. This is hard work. It is so good to watch them grow!
I must, of course, also mention how very proud I am of the JH 1 students who passed Eiken 3 last year with very high interview scores. Several JH 3 students also passed Eiken Pre-2. Congratulations to everyone who challenged themselves in this way! Great job! …Who will be next?
Finally, I want to say a heartfelt, “Thank you!” to each and every parent. Little by little, day by day, you give your children the encouragement and support they need to become good at speaking English. You are the spice that makes all the flavors come together. Your support makes their learning possible. Thank you!
There was so much good in 2010! Let’s continue to look for the good in 2011 and step forward with an attitude of gratitude.