Japan, Teaching English in Japan

English Teacher…Or Aerobics Instructor?

A few weeks ago I was very gung-ho about joining a gym. But then luckily I remembered that I don’t actually go to gyms. I just join them, buy a closet full of cute exercise clothes and then talk incessantly and obsessively about how I should be at the gym instead of at (insert name of random bar, club or mall).

But it worked out well that I’m a gym-crastinator (that’s someone who procrastinates on going to the gym), because now I don’t need a treadmill to get a work out, all I need is a classroom full of energetic, enthusiastic five-year-olds. I swear, teaching ESL is just a cover for what really happens in the classroom, which is a 10 to 50 minute combo karaoke/cardio fat-burning exercise-athon.

Take today, for example. All of my kindergarten lessons were shortened from the previous 10 minute time period to a mere five minutes. Basically, the lessons went a little like this:

Teacher zooms into the classroom, greets the students, sings “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” (complete with hand motions) and a sped up version of the “Walking, Walking Song” (which involves walking, hopping and running around the classroom) and then shouts goodbye as she runs out of the room towards her next class.

Times that routine by six and at the end of the half hour, I was sweating, out of breath and losing my voice. The last lesson was then held in the gym, where I was given a microphone and led about 60 students in a mass round of the hokey pokey. All I needed to complete the “Fitness Trainer Look” were some of my cute exercise clothes that are now gathering mold in a box on my balcony.

It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I can already tell that my students are learning some important English phrases. They’ve already mastered “I’m hot” and “I’m tired” which are sort of the ongoing theme of every lesson.

Maybe there is a future business hidden somewhere in all of this? “English and Exercise”? An English curriculum centered around a work-out regiment? Hmm…

As a side note, may I just say that that kindergarten is really pimped-out?  Because it’s really. pimped. out.  They’ve got a swimming pool, trampolines and their very own petting zoo.  The students get to take turns holding and feeding the turtles, chickens, ferrets, rabbits, fish and parakeets…and get this, a monkey. They keep him tied to the jungle gym and during recess, the kids feed him live beetles. Pretty wild, huh?

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2 thoughts on “English Teacher…Or Aerobics Instructor?

  1. That’s a really funny link…thanks for that! I especially like the korean version of it. I laughed so hard I cried! And then forwarded it on to friends.

    I guess the Japanese started a trend with that one.

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