William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

94. Honesty?

I almost wish I had more from Ehime to write about. I’ve got almost nothing to do here at work now. I suppose I could be preparing for next term’s classes – well, that’ll come in time. I’m not ready to face them just yet.

When I was walking back here after lunch, I ran into Mk. She told me that H-sensei thinks we’re telling the children about the new teacher (this is news to me), and could we please refrain from doing so.

I asked why. Mk. said that it’s because the parents are under the impression that S.G. hires experienced teachers – they don’t know that we’re just interns. I asked if this was wrong, as it felt wrong to me. Well, it’s “ok” because S.G. doesn’t explicitly say that we’re experienced teachers, so it’s not really lying.

I’d heard all this from D. before, but to hear it from Mk. was a bit of a shock. I also don’t really like being told what I can and can’t say… not that I was blabbing all over the place, it’s just the principle of it, really.

I suppose there is one good reason not to tell the children about the new teacher – like her name, which is really all we know anyway – and it’s because there was that one prospective teacher that bailed at the last minute (this is what forced T. to come back). All things being equal, there’s always the chance the same thing could happen again. If I were D., I wouldn’t unpack too quickly… =)

Still, if they’re this worried that prospective employees might bail, they should just screen more carefully and improve the working conditions and compensation. In short, it’s their problem, not mine, if they decide to continue rolling the dice instead of improving things. (Though I suppose it would become my problem when we have to start covering the classes that the new teacher would have taught.)

Some things about this place continue to frustrate me. It’s a corrosive, apathetic environment to work in. For instance, why did they wait until the last minute to perform the earthquake-resistance renovations? It’s been a big pain for everyone, and it could have been mitigated if they’d ramped things up gradually when they first knew the regulations were coming.

The Japanese teachers are having parent-teacher interviews now, and it makes me wonder why they forbid us from interacting with the parents. (I’m aware of the symptomatic reasoning – it’s because the parents are under the impression that we’re real teachers, and the school feels that they can’t be even inadvertently disillusioned.) I can sort of understand not being allowed in the room during the interview, but it definitely cements our status as second-class “teachers.” If I were an ALT, this sort of thing would be par for the course, but I’m not an ALT.

This school always acts like it has something to hide. It’s ridiculous – it’s like Stephen Harper is running it or something. Whatever happened to trust and openness, and where does one draw the line between garden-variety business chicanery and indictable dishonesty?

Well, it turns out that I did get something to do – we needed more details for our kindergarten-targeted Primary School Experience lesson plan. Planning these bait-and-switch “lessons” isn’t really my idea of fun, and my language when I write the initial plans is often deliberately vague. But they need to know the rounds of the cats arse, and it gets kind of tiresome – I just went through this a month ago!

I wonder what sorts of crazy things will happen while I’m on vacation. I’m glad I don’t have a cell phone here; e-mail’s far easier to plausibly ignore. =)
Tags: honesty, japan, lies, open lessons, teaching, work

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