April 25, 2017

JET teacher Laurence's April 2017 Blog Post!

Hello everyone! Laurence here.

Being an ALT is a lot more work than it might seem. Of course, your responsibilities change according to the needs of your working place but here at Seiritsu, ALTs do a lot more than planning and teaching classes. Here are a few examples you might find interesting.

One thing that sets Seiritsu Gakuen apart from schools in Tokyo is its international department, for which JETs do a lot of work. We look after international students during excursions and support them as fellow foreigners in Japan. We also take part in important school events, like rice harvesting, entrance and graduation ceremonies, during which we can be in charge of taking pictures or video footage. The JETs are also in charge of overlooking the English Conversation Club, which takes place once a week. This also includes organizing seasonal parties for our club members as well as decorating.

Seiritsu's ECC at Christmas time!

Speaking of speaking English, we also have “English Conversation Lunches” with selected groups of students outside of class. We also help some of the older students practice for important interviews (for college, eiken etc.).

One of the major changes that took place last year was the addition of the extensive reading program to the English department. The books we received had to carefully be cleaned, sorted into levels, coded with coloured stickers and filed into our online database before putting them in the shelves. This was no easy task, as we already have over 600 books in the extensive reading room.

Recently, we have started recording ourselves reading some of these books out loud as well, so readers can follow along as we read the books to them.


I hope this blog post gave you a little more insight in what us ALTs can do. We have to be flexible in order to make it work but it’s these challenges that make our work more exciting – and impactful – in the long run.

See you next month!

Laurence Dubé

April 18, 2017

JET teacher Teresa's April 2017 Blog Post!

It’s April and it’s muggy with the faint hint of past flowers.

As I was walking to work this morning, I saw that my favorite cherry blossom tree had revamped: it went from fashioning itself with pretty, flitting pink petals to the thick green leaves weighing the branches down. Alas, the hanami season is over and the new school year is beginning.

As part of the new school year orientation, the junior high school students and international students walked all the way to Asakusa! It took them about 2.5 hours, I believe. Furthermore, they had missions throughout the journey; they were required to take pictures, get signatures, and interview foreigners in English.


The students in the middle of their trek to Asakusa


Students in the middle of interviewing.


Students who are resting after finishing their trek and their missions.

It’s my second time partaking in the day camp in Asakusa. Last year, the students wore their uniform because the weather was mild, but this year, the weather was on the hotter range, so students had the freedom to wear regular clothes! I know at least one student excited about wearing their regular clothes to school.


The cooling wind as shown by the furins.

The day itself went well as it was sunny, but cool in the shade. The students had fun and seemed to have bonded with each other despite some language barrier. Personally, it was satisfying to see the international and junior high school students mingle.

April 10, 2017

JET teacher Teresa Talks about Spring!

Happy spring!

Spring is my absolute favorite season, and I can’t be happier that I can finally put away my heavy winter jacket!

Spring in Japan is all about the cherry blossoms and its ephemeral beauty, so you will see many people taking pictures within the first days of it blooming. Most celebrate the season with hanami, or “flower viewing,” in parks, but I did something different.

I decided to paint my own sakura tree in an event similar to Paint Nite in downtown Tokyo. It was held in an underground cafe/restaurant that gave California vibes. I learned later that the owner is actually from California and most of the workers speak English.


The cafe/restaurant graciously pulled down the blinds while the materials were being set up.


A sample of the artist’s work.


The provided materials to draw a sakura tree.

I am an absolute beginner in painting, but I love creating art. The artist went step by step, teaching the basic skills before letting our own creativity fly.

Below you will see my art’s progress:


Painting the background


Drawing a branch and a couple of clouds to fill up space


Adding a moon to further fill out space


Finally filling out the branch with sakura. I also splashed some paint to make it look like a sakura shower, but it just looks like I accidentally dropped my paint brush on the canvas.


Let’s compare my painting to a real tree! This tree is from Sophia University.

Painting was so much fun that I am determined to go to the next one!

April 7, 2017

Heisei 29 Entrance Ceremony

Today is our entrance ceremony for the new academic year.


The cherry blossoms were originally expected to arrive early but they held off and are in perfect condition for the beginning of school. It is considered a lucky sign.
It is also looking like it might rain but so far it has held off as well.
With our largest starting class to date, it is looking like a wonderful start to the new year.

Best of luck to all of our new students and to the students moving up from our junior high school.
We are looking forward to creating many lasting experiences and memories over the next three (or six) years!




about Seiritsu

Seiritsu Gakuen is a private co-educational high school created in 1925 and it is located in Tokyo, Japan.

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