Akita Orientation 2013
- Check in time: 12:00 noon
- Where: The Prefectural Education Center, just outside of Akita City.
- When: August 28 & 29
What to expect
Akita Orientation is designed to give new JETs all the information they need to thrive in Akita. There will be almost no instruction on culture shock or other topics that were covered at Tokyo Orientation. If there is overlap with Tokyo Orientation, it is because we believe our presentations will be of more use. New JETs should leave the conference with a solid idea of what to expect throughout the upcoming year and the particulars of their specific area of Akita.
What to bring
Akita Orientation is considered part of your normal work activities and you are expected to dress professionally throughout the conference. Because the August heat in Akita is rather harsh, short sleeved collared shirts without suit coats are appropriate for men. Neckties are unnecessary. Dress for women is business casual.
With the exception of a very few people, new JETs will be staying overnight at the Education Center during orientation. Assume you will be staying over unless you have been told otherwise directly from your CO. Showers and public baths for males and females are available. See Onsen Etiquette for using the public bath. Soap is provided but that is about all in the way of amenities. You should bring everything else that you need.
- A bath towel & small vanity towel to cover up in the bath
- Shower amenities other than soap and shampoo
- Cash. There is no ATM at the center
- Athletic shoes, should you need them
- Dodge-ball and basketball are annual favorites
There is a cafeteria at the center where you can buy breakfast and lunch, although you should buy meal tickets as early as possible as they have a tendency to run out.
Keep in mind that the Prefectural Education center is not a hotel, but rather a training center for government employees. As such, please treat the building, staff, and others staying there with respect.
Every year AAJ hosts a welcome dinner in the Education Center.
Menu: Sushi dinner
Price: 1500 Yen
First Day Presentations
- Akita 101/Life in Akita
- Travel and transportation
- Akita JET info/English camp info
- Block presentations/Getting to know your block
Second Day Workshops
You must attend the Activities Workshop/s that corresponds with your schools.
- Taylor Fustin & Joshua Drewry
Lesson Planning is for ALTs who are not confident creating a lesson. At some point during your amazing, fulfilling career as an ALT a teacher will probably ask you to plan and lead a lesson. We will explain the basics of planning by looking at two real lessons. Then we will have an opportunity to look at what goes into making a successful lesson. Lastly, everyone will have a chance to practice making a lesson.
Coaching for speech contest
- Stephanie Hupp & Russell Kabir
Your city's speech contest is quickly approaching. Are your kids ready? This workshop will offer inside information on speech contests are, why we have them, and the best ways to approach and train your students. We will show examples of past winners to give ALTs various ideas of what judges are looking for at a speech contest. We will also demonstrate helpful techniques that ALTs can use to their advantage.
- Randy Umetsu & Sean Corrigan
Japanese 101 is a practical crash course about the Japanese language designed for those who have never studied Japanese formally or have very little knowledge of the language. We will be covering all of the basics including the language’s structure, grammar, useful everyday phrases, mistakes to avoid, and useful resources. If you can’t read this 私は日本語がわかりません then you will be sure to get something out of this workshop!
Teaching at multiple schools
- Jon Stimmer
This workshop will cover all the difficulties that you will encounter if you teach at many schools. Some of the topics will be curriculum planning, a no-English work situation, administrative issues(using nenkyu, travel forms, when to use daikyu, etc.), staying informed, office etiquette, and much more. If any of these things concern you then come to this workshop!
Getting into your children's shoes
- Russell Kabir
Ami Bangla jani naa! Do you understand Bengali, the language of Bangladesh? Being native speakers of English for the majority of our lives, it is easy to forget the trials and tribulations of language acquisition. As teachers of something second nature to us, it is also easy to lose our patience and empathy for our young students in the learning process. In this presentation, the tables have turned. Come remind yourself of the daily struggles and triumphs your students endure by immersing yourself in a language you don't understand, and participate in a discussion emphasizing empathy, linguistics, cultural context, and the importance of comprehensible input. File:Getting into Your Children's Shoes.pptx
Elementary school activities
- Jon Stimmer & Kenny Grant
Elementary School Activities is a workshop on elementary school activities. Surprise! This will cover age appropriate games and learning exercises that you can use during your elementary school visits. Many ALTs are expected to lead the class because the ES teacher often does not know any English. You must attend if you visit elementary schools.
Junior high school activities
- Kinza Cooper & David Ranzini
Junior High School Activities is for the municipal, JHS ALTs. It will cover activities that ALTs in the past have found to be successful within their schools. If you are a JHS ALT you are required to attend one of these workshops.
Senior high school activities
- Jessie Fast
High School Activities is for prefectural, HS ALTs. The workshop will introduce all sorts of useful HS activities for you to use in your classroom. If you are a HS ALT then you must attend this workshop. File:Orientation HS Activities PP.docx.pptx
- Josh Drewry
There are no shortcuts to becoming a better teacher: no secret formula, no magic words. It takes hours of planning and preparation, then a dozen changes to those plans from the moment you reach the classroom. It is difficult work, but we stand on the shoulders of giants. Pedagogy, or the study of teaching, is a well-established field of research with many resources to offer aspiring young educators. This workshop will introduce several key pedagogical theories employed by teachers today and visit how they apply to our unique role in English education. Ideas for new lessons are not the focus of our discussion, but you might discover a way to improve the activities you already use. Whether you are new to teaching or want to revisit your formal studies from a fresh angle, this workshop will provide you with tools for critically analyzing your lessons in order to make the most of your time in the classroom.