Thursday, September 30, 2010

The view from here

I'm enjoying the process of getting to know my students and wish I could show you their adorable faces. But I won't post student pictures on a website that isn't password protected.
So I thought I'd show you the view of the classroom - before the students arrive.
At least this was the view the first day of school a few things have changed since then.

Below is the view out the window.
That's the Elementary building 3 & 4 grade meets upstairs. The room on the 1st floor (now a garage/ping pong room) will someday be renovated and made into the 1st and 2nd grade classroom.

Notice the rice paddy on the other side of the building - ready to be harvested. And the mountains in the distance.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy 40th Anniversary!

Last week we celebrated Kansai Christian School's 40th Anniversary.
Started in 1970 as a small school for missionary children we have become a school of 40 students some missionary children, some children of business workers, some christian workers, others Japanese citizens that want a English education for their children. In the last 40 years almost 300 students have attended KCS and 78 teachers have worked here.

We celebrated in grand style - students wear school colors. Students of all ages led songs, shared favorite verses and prayed thanking God for his faithfulness. We had a "history lesson" through a slideshow and video from the school archives! (Amazing how the styles have
changed!) And a Trivia game. The longest a teach has taught at KCS is 21 years
- Kobayashi Sensei - our Amazing Japanese teacher.
We also honored the Clarks
and the Woykes
for their many years of service as board members, P.E. teacher, School administrative assistant and behind the scenes miracle workers. They each received a plaque and a food gift.
Following the program we had a potluck and lots of cake.
We also had Friday off of school as a Anniversary gift to everyone.

Monday, September 13, 2010

School Days

Off to a running start.
With 7 kids who are really smart.

Week one is done,
We're having lots of fun.

When it's your first year of school,
Everything seems really cool.

When it's year number two,
you really know what to do.

You gotta have lots of tricks in the bag,
if you're the teacher on jet lag.

But it doesn't matter who you are,
learning things makes you feel like a star.

It's the times of classroom prayer,
That make me feel blessed to be there!

Now, if I can just put down the rhyming picture books -
before people give me funny looks.

Thank you for your prayers for week one! The first day was a bit of a shock to me - I had gotten comfortable with the last class - they knew the routines and were very independent. While this class is at grade level - it was a twang to my expectations. When you need to explain how to do everything the first few days . . . How to put on your inside shoes, how to walk in the hall, how to wash your hands, how to sit in your desk, progress is measured in baby steps.

Week 2 is off to a good start. Students are building on what they learned last week and we can add more of the school subjects.

Jet lag is over - (Yippee) Although with the sun setting by 6:00pm I think I'll try to stick with the 5 am wake up time as long as I'm able.

I have 5 first graders and 2 second graders. 3 boys and 4 girls. 6 Japanese and one Malaysian/American. My favorite parts of the days are when they are praying out loud. There is a new student prayer leader each week and they're learning how to pray. Helps me to understand what Jesus meant by a childlike faith! So precious!

Yep - I love my job!

The school website is at

Friday, September 3, 2010

Getting Started

I have a lot of photos and updates to blog about from the summer and will try to work some of those in as the school year starts but for now - just wanted to update you that - school (for the teachers at least) has started.

We had staff orientation on Friday and it was a great time of connecting with everyone again. We have one new part-time teacher this year and he's a graduate of Kansai Christian School, it's fun to hear him say things like - "I remember when . . . ". He and his wife just moved to Japan from Minnesota so dontcha know it'll be good to talk Minnesoootan with them. Other teachers returned from trips to the States, Thailand, India, England and other parts of Japan, it will be fun catching up with everyone throughout fall.

Friday, I learned that there may be 8 students in my class - which is almost double the number we anticipated in the spring. A huge praise since we've been praying for more students! After staff orientation, I stayed at school and rearranged the classroom trying to get things set up for the year. New posters and name tags will go up soon, and all the books and workbooks are ready for the first day.

Today - Saturday - is all school clean-up day. Since our school does not have a janitor or custodian, everyone at the school gets together to clean from 9 to noon. Then we all have lunch together. Although the weather is supposed to get to 94 today - I think it will be fun getting reunited with my former students (now 3 & 4 graders) and start connecting with new students and their parents.

School starts Monday!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Window Seat


^ Mt. Fuji

^KIX (Osaka)

The view from a window seat

Seattle was covered with clouds Aug. 31 and so you'll have to imagine a scene of whiteness out the window. Here is a photo from when I touched down in Seattle 2 months ago.
^ Mount Rainier

You might be back in Japan if . . . .

You might be in Japan when you pick up the remote control in your bedroom, press a button thinking the air conditioner will turn on and when the overhead lights turn on -you realize - oh -I have the wrong remote control - you quickly grab the remote for the AC unit in the room and stare at it blankly trying to remember the kanji symbols for cool. (AC and heater is one in the same unit different buttons). The heat is 30 C or 86 degrees F and humid - at 10pm! While waiting for it to cool you grab the remote control for the fan and turn it on, sitting in front of it while you type a blog update.

You might be in Japan if your neighbor and his Jr. High age daughter greet you as they get off their bikes - returning from school at 9:30pm.

You might be in Japan if you stopped at the grocery store to get a few things for the next day and you bought a package of 10 eggs, a loaf of 5 pieces of white bread, 1500ml bottle of (cold) coffee, and milk in a liter bottle. Oh - and Nashi (Apple - pear combo fruit)

You might be in Japan if you had an amazing view of Mt. Fuji (without snow on top) from the plane and when it lands your missionary friend and co-worker picks you up at the airport, turns on the Navigational system (called "Navi") and drives on the left side of the road while you listen to the "navi gal" give directions in Japanese.

Yes, I've arrived in Japan and am grateful for family in the states who treated me to a "last supper" at 'Apertif' last night and today gave me a ride to the airport at 4:45am! . Grateful to the Chapmans for their warm welcome and hard work opening up my house and doing a bit of cleaning before I came. Grateful to the ministry partners who have generously given and faithfully prayed so that I can have the opportunity to do educational ministry here.

Grateful for the Internet connection here at home which helps me connect with you - my readers. Thank you for reading! I'm weary from the travel and going to bed!

Update: You might be in Japan if you are visited by a Mormon on your 1st morning in country - and see it as a good chance to dust off your Japanese language skills.