ALT(ジェームス先生)とのお別れ ~ Farewell to James

Oama Higashi Elementary School only has 40 students, but they’re all wonderful. My successor agrees: “Those kids are [white]-hot at everything they do. They’re amazing! And so friendly!” I loved teaching there. Last March, my principal graciously wrote on the school website about my emotional goodbye ceremony there. It’s so humbling to read this again. I hope I can live up to what he has written.

ALT(ジェームス先生)とのお別れ (Original Article)

Farewell to James
Today, James, who was our ALT for two years, gave his final classes at our school. ALTs, or Assistant Language Teachers, are employed by schools or board of education. In addition to assisting teachers in class, they prepare teaching materials, take part in English research meetings, and help with other activities outside class. 90% of the participants in the JET Program are ALTs.

We had a farewell ceremony during our activity time. James is very spirited and energetic, and the students are very fond of him. When it was time for the ceremony, the children’s faces sank. Our student representative, a 6th grade boy, was so sad during his speech that his words got taught in his throat. I thought, “Everybody loves him.” I talked about what I’d learned from James’s two years of work.

(1) Today, I have a sad announcement to make. Mr. James Smyth, who has been enjoying English classes with us, will leave us today.

(2) This morning, the 1st and 2nd graders had their English classes, and they looked like they were having a great time. When I saw them, I thought, “They really love James!” I reflected that while James comes from a foreign country, there is a lot to learn from him.

(3) This is an article James wrote about his impressions, memories, and experiences in Kumamoto and Tensui. It’s called “My Hometown.” At the end, it says, “Some day, when my dreams have come true, I will return…I will never forget my hometown.” Obviously, James will always be from Indiana, but I think he also loves Tensui like it’s his hometown and all you children like you are his family and friends.

(4) At this, his farewell, I want to tell you four things James thinks are important.

(5) The first is food: you should not only eat some of everything whether you like it or not; you should also be careful not to overeat, which is also bad for you.

(6) Secondly, if you do something for 20 minutes a day, whatever it is, you’ll become good at it. As the saying goes, “Practice doesn’t lie.”

(7) Third, when it’s late at night, go to bed! If you stay up late because you haven’t taken care of things, you’ll lose the entire next day because you’re too tired.

(8) Finally, wherever you go, greet people warmly.

(9) By remembering these four things, you can pay James back for everything he has taught you.

(10) James is going to Taiwan to study Chinese. I hope you all never forget this man, who has so many interests and studies with all his heart.

(11) James, thank you so much for everything. Please never forget the town of Tensui and Oama Higashi Elementary School. Let’s meet again some day. I’m already looking forward to it.

Please take good care of yourself. See you again.

Explore posts in the same categories: Education, Interesting Places, Japan, Translations, 日本語


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One Comment on “ALT(ジェームス先生)とのお別れ ~ Farewell to James”

  1. […] ALT(ジェームス先生)とのお別れ ~ Farewell to James(2010年7月) The Principal of Oama Higashi Elementary School wrote this upon my departure. Here’s my translation. […]

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