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weepinbell
September 16th, 2015, 16:53
So I most help in English communication classes which is ran by one teacher. She's about my age (so young) and a very new teacher.

In English comm, the kids are doing speech contest speeches. The first years have the topic of 'show and tell'. My JTE had them write their speeches in Japanese first. Problem number one.. because they literally were unable to translate them with their high Japanese ability and low English ability. So instead of having them write simple speeches in English, what does my JTE do? Translate them herself. And what does she do while translating them? Translate half of them in a way that they are literally undecipherable in English.

So she's already handed them back to the students and in class she has me walk around and help them comprehend the translation/help with pronunciation.... which is incredibly hard to do when they're pointing at English gibberish that I can't even understand or a word misspelled so bad that I don't know what it's even supposed to be. So in these situations, I go to my JTE and we work out together what the student was originally trying to say in Japanese, which turns into a new translation... she then writes down my new translation on their sheet in a paraphrased way that often STILL does not make any sense or isn't even close to what I've literally just said.

Example: kid asks for comprehension of the the JTE's translation that says 'My erase is easy to put out'. What the hell does that even mean, I ask myself. Consult with the JTE, and we come to the conclusion that he's trying to say 'The eraser is easy to take off of my pencil'. However, in what was likely an effort to keep her ego in tact, she tells me that changing it to this sentence changes the meaning. So she has me change it to 'The eraser is easy to take off a little bit'... which still doesn't sound like her original translation, but I can tell she's getting frustrated, so okay whatever, at least it makes more sense than the original.

She also has so many spelling errors that change the whole meaning of the sentence... i.e., 'scene' instead of 'scent' in reference to perfume. 'Wage' instead of 'wag'... the list is truly endless.

I'm just at a total loss at this point... sometimes she comes over to my desk and asks for sentence interpretation advice, but she usually writes what I say, again, in very paraphrased ways that still don't make the sentence correct.

I've tried offering to type out translations for her so I can like discreetly correct them or something... but so far, no go.

Basically, it's at a point where I think she's embarrassed to admit when her English is incorrect and the kids are suffering because of it. I wish this were easier to let go, but when the kids are pointing at her mistakes and asking me 'What does this mean?' 'How do I pronounce it?'... I can't really ignore it.

I don't know how I can even begin to fix this or if I even can... but I'm in a super awkward position right now, so any advice would be much appreciated.

mothy
September 16th, 2015, 17:03
What level are you teaching (SHS, JHS, elementary), and is this your first year?

weepinbell
September 16th, 2015, 17:19
JHS and yep haha.

mothy
September 16th, 2015, 17:44
Hm. JHS kids really can't do much. Sounds like the teacher is messing up, having them use english well above their level. The tough thing is you've been dropped in in the middle of the school year, so certain goals and how they're going to achieve them have already been decided. Have you had a talk with that teacher about goals? What are the kids trying to learn through these speech writing activities?
Can you contact your pred? What did he/she do in that class?

weepinbell
September 16th, 2015, 18:01
Well, it's a new project that they only started after summer vacation actually. So as soon as I started teaching is when they started the project. I did demos and stuff for them, so I understand the format and what she wants out of the speeches themselves. For the second and third years it's not so bad, because they're actually translating the sentences themselves and it's working out fine in those classes for the most part. Sometimes she'll do the same thing where she'll ask me for a translated sentence and takes the liberty to change what I said into something that's incorrect again.

I do know that her original plan was to have the first years translate as well, but when she realized they couldn't, I think she panicked and thought she needed to translate them herself. That's why the English ended up being above their level... and also making literally no sense since, she honestly pops the stuff she doesn't comprehend into Google translate and that's why words/sentences end up sounding weird... it sucks because the prompt is so easy. They literally could have said 'This is my bat. My dad gave it to me. I like to play baseball with it. It is a good bat'. That's at their level of understanding up to this point. Instead her translations turn into 'This bat is very special to me. My dad gave it to me as a present for my graduation. When I play baseball with this bat, it hits balls very far. From now on (all the korekaramo's in the world from these kids...), I will cherish this bat.' Except imagine that with a bunch of spelling/grammar errors... the kids just end up asking me for pronunciation and write it in katakana, with no actual comprehension of what they're saying.

My pred didn't work with her very often, since she's so new. :(

Maybe if I bring up the 'goals' thing, it'll make her thing about what's going on? Because at this point, her only goal is to choose one kid from each class to compete in the speech contest, as far as I know.

Jiggit
September 16th, 2015, 18:20
She's probably trying to flex her English muscles since she's new, which equates to busting out the flowery language. Come to think of it she may have individually translated them all to flex her hardworking muscles too. I'd tread softly if you want to make a positive change, it sounds like she probably knows she messed up and is on the defensive.

Just try not to make her cry like I did for mine!

Zolrak 22
September 16th, 2015, 18:59
Just try not to make her cry like I did for mine!

You lady killer, you. [emoji14]

sourdoughsushi
September 16th, 2015, 19:18
I am very surprised that she as a language learner hasn't recognized by now that unless you're at a very high level it isn't constructive to write something in your natural language and then try to translate. Did she review with them everything they learned 1st/2nd semester yet? For me I know it'd be really helpful to think of it in terms of "Here is a list of things you are able to express. Now use what you like to talk about xyz". The point is to get them comfortable and more confident, not bewilder them when they've only dipped their toes.

I think this is a good direction she's trying to go, but it definitely needs execution points. My JTEs lament that it's just a grammar slam all year for test prep.
Hopefully she will trust you and take you up on your offers sometime. Maybe you can mention to her that you noticed the students feeling very uneasy about the translations?

I don't have the wisdom to offer any great advice and I'm on two beers, but I'm sending hugs and unicorn thoughts your way.

weepinbell
September 16th, 2015, 21:35
It's just hard because at this point she's already handed them all the translations... I feel like implying that they need to redo them from scratch would be a huge blow to her ego, even if it's the truth.

She's also not very confident about her English and literally never speaks English with them in class - I feel like in a way she's projecting her fears onto them by giving them the "easy" way out. And yeah sourdough, you're right... translating does nothing. The 2nd and 3rd years are doing better because they have more of a grasp on their level, but still sometimes translate stuff really weirdly, which is inevitable when you're using a dictionary. It still would have been much more beneficial to have them do the speeches from scratch in English at their true level.

Our BOE is super invested in English education and send us surveys about our experience every month... I'm wondering if this is something I should bring up...? I've talked to the director of one of the education divisions who's an elementary school and she specifically told me that it's crucial to get them to write this stuff in English... and this JTE is doing the opposite. Like honestly, someone needs to talk to her about this type of curriculum because it's really not helping anyone and embarrassing for me AND her....

I'm also thinking of asking her if I can have like one on one meetings with the students during class as they're working on their speeches. We've been having them meet with me in pairs for 'conversation time' and she's loving that, so maybe I can sell her on this idea... because until November, half of class is just them working on the speeches... maybe during that time, I can under the radar correct the mistranslations she gave them... I agree with you guys, I think she knows she fucked up and doesn't want the kids to know, so maybe that would be a good way of fixing the issue and her still saving face...?

weepinbell
September 16th, 2015, 21:39
Also, jiggit how did you handle your situation? Was it similar to this one? Maybe I'll try to be more delicate, but I know that something really needs to be said. These kids are gonna go up for their speeches, make zero sense and everyone's gonna go... 'what the hell? Don't they have a native English speaker?' UGH.

uthinkimlost?
September 16th, 2015, 22:59
You're overthinking this and overestimating your overall influence.

If you bring this up in any way that brings any kind of negative attention on her, she will make you pay. If she's new, she has a metric f'ckton of things on her plate right now. Ijime is a bitch, and you ain't the senpai.

Perhaps your boe is truly invested in English education. Perhaps they only pay it lip service. Either way, it won't reflect on you in any meaningful way.

Salvage what you can in class, offer suggestions when you can, and move on.

weepinbell
September 16th, 2015, 23:19
You're overthinking this and overestimating your overall influence.

If if you bring this up in any way that brings any kind of negative attention on her, she will make you pay. If she's new, she has a metric f'ckton of things on her plate right now. Ijime is a bitch, and you ain't the senpai.

Perhaps your boe is truly invested in English education. Perhaps they only pay it lip service. Either way, it won't reflect on you in any meaningful way.

Salvage what you can in class, offer suggestions when you can, and move on.

That's seriously fine, but since these are legitimately the only classes I'm helping in right now, I really can't take the lie down and take it route. I can't ignore the mistakes and go "Oh yeah, that's completely fine" when a student asks me a comprehension question about a botched translation. Am I supposed to say 'Oh yeah, you're good', when I don't even know what it's supposed to mean? I can accept if I have to do tape recorder work and other mundane stuff, but I honestly am not going to sit there and pretend everything is okay when students are confused BECAUSE of the teacher's translations and lie to them when they ask me questions about it. If I were in a situation where I could be passive, I would be, but when the same JTE is instructing me to help the students understand her translations and then proceeds to hinder me from doing so, it makes things a little more complicated.

My city invested in 10+ new ALTs so that they could have one ALT per school. They're putting a shit ton of money in us, so they basically wanna know that we're doing something other than twiddle our thumbs. They're trying to actually improve their English program here and they've got a lot of money in their pockets to back it up, I think it's kinda counteractive for me to ignore when kids are literally being handed gibberish that's barely English on the daily and being told 'here, read this, it's English'. Literally my one job is to expose them to natural English... I'm not gonna lie and say gibberish is English. I can do robotic responses all day, but I really can't make 'My dog is treasure. I won't forget he came to me' (JTE's example) work...

uthinkimlost?
September 16th, 2015, 23:37
"My dog is a treasure. I won't forget the day he came to me." Aside from a couple of minor mistakes in your version, what on Earth is wrong with that? If you think that's gibberish, you're in for some hard times.

Answer their questions and make corrections and edits on the fly. Say, "Hmm, that's good, but how about this?" Or "That's great! -but this might be easier to say."

You are a temporary employee with absolutely minimal qualifications. She is not. Burn those bridges now and you'll have bigger problems.

weepinbell
September 17th, 2015, 00:03
"My dog is a treasure. I won't forget the day he came to me." Aside from a couple of minor mistakes in your version, what on Earth is wrong with that? If you think that's gibberish, you're in for some hard times.

Answer their questions and make corrections and edits on the fly. Say, "Hmm, that's good, but how about this?" Or "That's great! -but this might be easier to say."

You are a temporary employee with absolutely minimal qualifications. She is not. Burn those bridges now and you'll have bigger problems.

Thank you for the correction... would have never guessed it. Too bad I was seeing it for the first time as she was handing it to me to read aloud to the class who already had copies of it in their hands. This happens every day.

See my problem?

I do all of these things you're suggesting. That's the problem. It gets messy when she asks me for corrections mid-class and when I give them to her, she writes her own version on it on the student's papers that STILL is gibberish, or thinks I'm ruining the integrity of her original nonsensical translation. Mind you, this is when SHE herself asks me directly. And the problem isn't correcting their mistakes... it's that whenever I make these suggestions, I'm more or less implying 'your teacher screwed up. Lemme fix that for you'... because they're HER translations. Not theirs. Like you keep saying, I AM actively trying not to burn bridges by trying to figure out how to do this subtly...

If it were as easy as you're making it sound, I would have had this problem solved a week ago.

Edit: Please trust me when I say that's really not the worst of it by any means. That was her in-class example. The translations she handed the students on the other hand... 'The erase is easy to put out'.... that was the example I used above. After discussing with her, we came to the conclusion it was supposed to be 'My eraser is easy to take off of my pencil', but she got butthurt that her translation was so off and still made me translate it pretty questionably to save face. It's stuff like that. And she only asks me to help her with certain sentences... so I can't make simple corrections like the one above, because she doesn't think there's anything wrong with it. Until we get to class and she has to confront that her students don't get it... and the cycle repeats.

patjs
September 17th, 2015, 00:55
A lot of new JTE's have very mixed up ideas of how to use an ALT because they're so new and they aren't given any real training on how to work with one.

I dealt with quite a few of these brand new young teachers with horrific English. Sometimes they take the "I'm the leader" role way too far and think they need to control every single part of the class. When in reality it would make way more sense for you to write these translations in correct English. Sometimes they are just totally lost in general so trying to accomplish much of anything with them their first year can be pretty futile.

Sounds like it's a mix of some ego on her part and a lot of inexperience. Do you have a good relationship with any of the older JTE's? Sometimes very carefully approaching it with them can lead to results. But the fact that she's new is what the problem is.

Ini
September 17th, 2015, 07:05
what speech contest is this for? If they only need 1 kid from each class then make sure you correct the best kids speech first then spend the rest of the time going around doing damage control on the others.

weepinbell
September 17th, 2015, 07:25
Patsj yeah I have a really good relationship with 2 of my other JTESs and I was actually thinking of doing that... But I didn't wanna make it sound like I was throwing her under the bus either. Any tips on how to bring it up if it comes to that? Yeah if she'd just let me correct those damn translations this wouldn't be an issue... She's really kinda sabotaging herself because this way the kids see her mistakes. They're not dumb kids either lol.

Ini she already talked to the kids who want to do the contest without telling me I think. That's definitely a good plan so I'll try asking her today which students they are so I can focus on damage control for them first.

Also managed to get a hold of my pred who's still working in the area. He says he thinks he knows what I'm talking about so we're meeting today and hopefully he has some tips of for he handled this even though they didn't work together for long...

Ini
September 17th, 2015, 08:40
I hope this isn't the prince takamado trophy speech contest as if you havent decided on who is doing it and spent the last 4-12 weeks practicing then your 3rd graders are going to look bigger fools than some 1st grader who is treasuring the night his dog came on him.

uthinkimlost?
September 17th, 2015, 08:57
Thank you for the correction... would have never guessed it. Too bad I was seeing it for the first time as she was handing it to me to read aloud to the class who already had copies of it in their hands. This happens every day.

See my problem?

I do all of these things you're suggesting. That's the problem. It gets messy when she asks me for corrections mid-class and when I give them to her, she writes her own version on it on the student's papers that STILL is gibberish, or thinks I'm ruining the integrity of her original nonsensical translation. Mind you, this is when SHE herself asks me directly. And the problem isn't correcting their mistakes... it's that whenever I make these suggestions, I'm more or less implying 'your teacher screwed up. Lemme fix that for you'... because they're HER translations. Not theirs. Like you keep saying, I AM actively trying not to burn bridges by trying to figure out how to do this subtly...

If it were as easy as you're making it sound, I would have had this problem solved a week ago.

Edit: Please trust me when I say that's really not the worst of it by any means. That was her in-class example. The translations she handed the students on the other hand... 'The erase is easy to put out'.... that was the example I used above. After discussing with her, we came to the conclusion it was supposed to be 'My eraser is easy to take off of my pencil', but she got butthurt that her translation was so off and still made me translate it pretty questionably to save face. It's stuff like that. And she only asks me to help her with certain sentences... so I can't make simple corrections like the one above, because she doesn't think there's anything wrong with it. Until we get to class and she has to confront that her students don't get it... and the cycle repeats.

I'm going to be relatively blunt here.

I don't take anyone's pov at face value, particularly here, because it is only from one perspective in a fairly complex system. I doubly doubt your perspective to be entirely fair, since everybody in the first few months feels like the Eigo Messiah. Looking at your post history, you've been here a month and already had a JTE ignoring Meeeeeeee and the World's Worst translating JTE. Classes have been in session for 2 weeks.

I believe she is making mistakes. She is an ESL speaker and has had to edit a lot of speeches. That eraser bit certainly isn't great, but in a few weeks you'll suss out the meaning very quickly. I believe that you are likely capable of correcting the mistakes she makes. Her mistakes may be heinous occasionally, but really you need to flex your editing-on-the-fly muscles anyway. This won't be the last time you need them.

Ini made a very valid observation, and one that will help you save face at the contest itself. patjs' suggestion is also good, but might be difficult for you to pull off as you still don't know who these people are or how they'll react. (Like I said, you have no idea how hard this new woman has it.)

Take yourself out of the equation, look at what really needs to happen. Is winning this battle in this way really worth the war? You don't know your kids yet, you barely know any of your JTEs.

weepinbell
September 17th, 2015, 09:57
I'm going to be relatively blunt here.

I don't take anyone's pov at face value, particularly here, because it is only from one perspective in a fairly complex system. I doubly doubt your perspective to be entirely fair, since everybody in the first few months feels like the Eigo Messiah. Looking at your post history, you've been here a month and already had a JTE ignoring Meeeeeeee and the World's Worst translating JTE. Classes have been in session for 2 weeks.

I believe she is making mistakes. She is an ESL speaker and has had to edit a lot of speeches. That eraser bit certainly isn't great, but in a few weeks you'll suss out the meaning very quickly. I believe that you are likely capable of correcting the mistakes she makes. Her mistakes may be heinous occasionally, but really you need to flex your editing-on-the-fly muscles anyway. This won't be the last time you need them.

Ini made a very valid observation, and one that will help you save face at the contest itself. patjs' suggestion is also good, but might be difficult for you to pull off as you still don't know who these people are or how they'll react. (Like I said, you have no idea how hard this new woman has it.)

Take yourself out of the equation, look at what really needs to happen. Is winning this battle in this way really worth the war? You don't know your kids yet, you barely know any of your JTEs.

Dude, every time I post anything on this site you're quick to attack and I don't know why... and then you sit there and say 'Oh you should be taking this person's advice'... that's exactly what I'm doing without your input! Why do you think I get a little ruffled when I respond to your stuff? I'm new, I'm struggling and I need advice. I readily admit that and that's exactly why I post questions here... sorry if I don't do it in a format that you prefer, but the point is, I'm reaching out and I'm getting some really good advice because of it.

Like thanks for pointing out that Ini and Patsj had good advice... that's exactly why I responded to them saying I'd take it. That's exactly why I posted this question... because I'm inexperienced and frustrated and I wanted some advice. Yes, I've only been in school for a month now, but I work with this teacher 2-3 classes a day and since the same exact situation has been happening every day in every single class for a month with no idea how to handle it, I decided to seek advice on it. I'm not looking for sass about the validity of my situation, I'm looking for actual advice. After I filter through all your sourness, that's exactly what people are giving me... I can take their advice without your reiterating the same thing in a saltier way.

weepinbell
September 17th, 2015, 09:58
I'm going to be relatively blunt here.

I don't take anyone's pov at face value, particularly here, because it is only from one perspective in a fairly complex system. I doubly doubt your perspective to be entirely fair, since everybody in the first few months feels like the Eigo Messiah. Looking at your post history, you've been here a month and already had a JTE ignoring Meeeeeeee and the World's Worst translating JTE. Classes have been in session for 2 weeks.

And like I keep saying, it's not about a matter of me being able to suss out the meaning. It's me trying to figure out how to do it without offending her/making her look like an idiot in classes.

I believe she is making mistakes. She is an ESL speaker and has had to edit a lot of speeches. That eraser bit certainly isn't great, but in a few weeks you'll suss out the meaning very quickly. I believe that you are likely capable of correcting the mistakes she makes. Her mistakes may be heinous occasionally, but really you need to flex your editing-on-the-fly muscles anyway. This won't be the last time you need them.

Ini made a very valid observation, and one that will help you save face at the contest itself. patjs' suggestion is also good, but might be difficult for you to pull off as you still don't know who these people are or how they'll react. (Like I said, you have no idea how hard this new woman has it.)

Take yourself out of the equation, look at what really needs to happen. Is winning this battle in this way really worth the war? You don't know your kids yet, you barely know any of your JTEs.

Dude, every time I post anything on this site you're quick to attack and I don't know why... and then you sit there and say 'Oh you should be taking this person's advice'... that's exactly what I'm doing without your input! Why do you think I get a little ruffled when I respond to your stuff? I'm new, I'm struggling and I need advice. I readily admit that and that's exactly why I post questions here... sorry if I don't do it in a format that you prefer, but the point is, I'm reaching out and I'm getting some really good advice from it.

Like thanks for pointing out that Ini and Patsj had good advice... that's exactly why I responded to them saying I'd take it. That's exactly why I posted this question... because I'm inexperienced and frustrated and I wanted some advice. I've been in school for a month now, and I work with this teacher 2-3 classes a day. Since the same exact situation has been happening every day in every single class for a month, I decided to seek advice on it. I'm not looking for sass about the validity of my situation, I'm looking for actual advice. After I filter through all your sourness, that's exactly what people are giving me... I can take their advice without your reiterating the same thing in a saltier way.

Ananasboat
September 17th, 2015, 10:27
+1 for weepinbell

This is, believe it or not, a JET ALT forum. What may come as no surprise to the seasoned ALT, a new ALT would be shocked at. That's why this forum exists. To ask questions to the veteran teachers for input. It does no one any good bitching about new people asking questions because that is what they do. We can provide help or whine about the people who need it. If we're going to be a constructive forum we should forego bemoaning the state of ALTing these days and remember that people every year have the same issues.

uthinkimlost?
September 17th, 2015, 10:28
If you'd take the time to read what I said instead of rushing to respond, this might go better.

TL;DR version:

You're panicking too soon and trying to react without taking the time to see what's going on.

Just watch and fix what you can as it comes.

uthinkimlost?
September 17th, 2015, 10:30
+1 for weepinbell

This is, believe it or not, a JET ALT forum. What may come as no surprise to the seasoned ALT, a new ALT would be shocked at. That's why this forum exists. To ask questions to the veteran teachers for input. It does no one any good bitching about new people asking questions because that is what they do. We can provide help or whine about the people who need it. If we're going to be a constructive forum we should forego bemoaning the state of ALTing these days and remember that people every year have the same issues.

Don't think I said anything about questions. Questions are good.

Ananasboat
September 17th, 2015, 10:31
If you'd take the time to read what I said instead of rushing to respond, this might go better.

TL;DR version:

You're panicking too soon and trying to react without taking the time to see what's going on.

Just watch and fix what you can as it comes.

See, that's advice. Telling weepinbell that you think she's a liar with extreme bias is not constructive. There's a different.

Ini
September 17th, 2015, 10:31
Yes yes but what I want to know is can I use my american iphone in Japan if I buy a 3rd party sim card??????

uthinkimlost?
September 17th, 2015, 10:32
See, that's advice. Telling weepinbell that you think she's a liar with extreme bias is not constructive. There's a different.

She is biased. So are you. So am I.

Ananasboat
September 17th, 2015, 10:33
Yes yes but what I want to know is can I use my american iphone in Japan if I buy a 3rd party sim card??????

Ini getting to the heart of it all.


She is biased. So are you. So am I.

No I'm not.

Ini
September 17th, 2015, 10:36
The biggest issue I see coming out of this thread is why the hell is everyone working with young female JTEs except me?

Virgil
September 17th, 2015, 10:39
There's a different.

Damnit, she has gone native.

Ananasboat
September 17th, 2015, 10:41
Damnit, she has gone native.

That seems very fine to me.

Also what happened to being the embracer of English mistakes?

Virgil
September 17th, 2015, 10:42
That seems very fine to me.

Also what happened to being the embracer of English mistakes?

I think you meant 'be the embracing of English mistakes'

uthinkimlost?
September 17th, 2015, 10:46
Virgirl gives me energy

mothy
September 17th, 2015, 10:58
The biggest issue I see coming out of this thread is why the hell is everyone working with young female JTEs except me?

I suspect that's planned.

Ini
September 17th, 2015, 12:08
discrimination! I was cleared of all charges!

weepinbell
September 17th, 2015, 13:14
If you'd take the time to read what I said instead of rushing to respond, this might go better.

TL;DR version:

You're panicking too soon and trying to react without taking the time to see what's going on.

Just watch and fix what you can as it comes.

See, that's what you should have said from the start instead of dancing around the issue by trying to make me feel like an idiot who doesn't know what the hell is going on. Obviously I'm an idiot who doesn't know what's going on, I haven't even lived in this country for 2 months. Let's skip the formalities next time and get to the real advice and we will be golden~

Virgil
September 17th, 2015, 13:16
But the formalities make our epeens swell ;(

uthinkimlost?
September 17th, 2015, 14:52
See, that's what you should have said from the start instead of dancing around the issue by trying to make me feel like an idiot who doesn't know what the hell is going on. Obviously I'm an idiot who doesn't know what's going on, I haven't even lived in this country for 2 months. Let's skip the formalities next time and get to the real advice and we will be golden~

I framed it that way because you framed it that way. I told you what others were experiencing because you didn't know. I told you rocking the boat too soon could cause you major problems.

I may not be tactful, but I'm not intentionally cruel, and if you are reading anything I wrote as such, that's due to your point of view.

Ananasboat
September 17th, 2015, 14:59
Ahh, the old "I'm sorry you felt that way about what I said," number #12 on the "things assholes say to push blame onto others" list of useful phrases.

uthinkimlost?
September 17th, 2015, 15:08
Ahh, the old "I'm sorry you felt that way about what I said," number #12 on the "things assholes say to push blame onto others" list of useful phrases.

I didn't apologize.

I think we're moving out of teaching territory here. I think a thread split is in order.

weepinbell
September 17th, 2015, 16:04
Ahh, the old "I'm sorry you felt that way about what I said," number #12 on the "things assholes say to push blame onto others" list of useful phrases.

LOL real. Time to move on. Thanks to everyone who left clear advice, I tried some of it out today and I think this situation has the potential to move in a more decent direction... I did manage to get to her to give me some of the third years' translations so I can correct them instead. I played the 'You must be so busy and I have nothing to do, so please let me help you with corrections' card haha... hopefully this can continue. Also threw out the idea of getting one on one time with them to work with them and she said she'd think about it... we'll see. In class I tried to get to the kids who had comprehension questions first so she didn't feed them nonsensical stuff (obviously still happened and on the board no less, so I couldn't even try to help that), and the ones I did turned out well. Didn't have any 1st year classes today, so we'll see what happens when we're back to school. That's the one that's gonna be rough since I'll be trying to discreetly correct HER translations... ugh.

Also asked if I could get it on helping with the speech competition kids. She said yes, so hopefully that'll result in me being able to correct all that shit. Though for the 3rd years, she's using a native English speaker... and actually maybe for the 2nd years as well. Is that cheating? Hahaha. In any case, at least they'll make her look good at the competition so at this point, that's all we can really hope for anyway.

Ini
September 17th, 2015, 16:09
where is this "one on one time" going to come from?

weepinbell
September 17th, 2015, 16:30
where is this "one on one time" going to come from?

We do this thing in her classes while the kids are working on speeches where they come out into the hallways in pairs and literally just talk to me in English for a few minutes. I suggested after we're done with that, maybe we can continue the same type of activity except more focused on them performing their speeches for me/asking questions and then I can give them advice/correct some stuff. We're gonna be doing this format until speeches are over in November... I figure there are only so many times a kid can ask me 'What's your favorite Japanese food?' before it gets repetitive....

Gizmotech
September 17th, 2015, 17:06
Your gonna be in for a ride surprise in a couple of months when you realize ALL the question are repetitive because the vocab in the book is useless for building any real communication at all.

I'm gonna vote with util and suggest that you ask the jte if you can just observe for a couple of days/weeks to get a feel how the jte does normal classes without you there. It might help you offer productive advice/understand better.

weepinbell
September 17th, 2015, 18:45
Your gonna be in for a ride surprise in a couple of months when you realize ALL the question are repetitive because the vocab in the book is useless for building any real communication at all.

I'm gonna vote with util and suggest that you ask the jte if you can just observe for a couple of days/weeks to get a feel how the jte does normal classes without you there. It might help you offer productive advice/understand better.

To be fair, she doesn't use the book in this class so that's a moot point... y'all with the assumptions today, yikes.

Either way, I think my questions have been answered. I met with my pred who still works here who has been ALTing for 8 years... she basically used to have him plan all the lessons lol. She's never taught before either. Last year SHE was an assistant teacher and she doesn't have an education background.

So now that my pred's not there anymore, she's using an English activity book and picking out a random exercise to have them do for a warmup that has nothing to do with the things they are learning/already have learned in class. Basically he advised to really push helping her with translations and offer up activities that have the target language of what they're learning/have learned in their English classes.

Also, she's never done the speech stuff before... a different JTE at my school did and my pred helped her. For first years, they had an outline to work from. Obviously it's too late to do that now, so he basically said just to fix what I can and now that I know the situation, don't be afraid to be a little more direct about offering help/corrections.

mothy
September 17th, 2015, 19:40
Weebinhell, do you have any teaching experience? Even though she's new, and not very good at English, I'd still tread carefully. She's still senior to you and you're still new to the Japanese work culture. Also, that she's new there makes it likely she will be there next year. Don't want to accidentally make enemies.

weepinbell
September 17th, 2015, 20:45
Weebinhell, do you have any teaching experience? Even though she's new, and not very good at English, I'd still tread carefully. She's still senior to you and you're still new to the Japanese work culture. Also, that she's new there makes it likely she will be there next year. Don't want to accidentally make enemies.

Oh no, I'm not claiming to have any and I agree with you. She's new as a teacher, but this is her second year at the school. First year was as an assistant.

I'm definitely not planning on confronting her about anything that's happened up until now. At this point, I'm just trying to make it clear to her that I'm available to help with translations any time and assist with/help prepare activities. I think mostly she has no idea what to do with me since we're more like peers in age/experience (obviously not in the school hierarchy) and my pred was way more experienced than both of us, so she was able to rely on him a lot. I'm glad I was able to meet with him because now I have a better understanding of what's going on.

We're planning an activity together for next class though and she gave me a bunch of stuff to correct from students, it's a small step but a good one I think. So far, we haven't discussed anything before going to classes, I just go with her and play by ear. I'm hoping if she knows I've got her back, we can start communicating more and planning some more stuff together... more communication will probably equal less confusion for everyone in the long run. We definitely get along, but I think we're just both really confused about how to work with each other when it comes to our lessons. Hopefully if she knows she can trust me, it'll start to show in our classes.

mothy
September 17th, 2015, 21:20
Sounds good. Gain their trust then murd... er, take a more meaningful role in the classroom.

patjs
September 18th, 2015, 02:31
Patsj yeah I have a really good relationship with 2 of my other JTESs and I was actually thinking of doing that... But I didn't wanna make it sound like I was throwing her under the bus either. Any tips on how to bring it up if it comes to that?

I'm a little late but actually others brought up a good point that you also don't know the other JTEs too well yet. It might be best to wait a bit more and build relationships, but when you do need to talk to them I suggest doing it out of school at an enkai or some kind of dinner/lunch situation if you have the opportunity.

I always found that in the course of normal conversations the topic you want to talk about will eventually come up somehow and you can gently hint at some frustrations. I can't tell you exactly what to say...but if you make friends with teachers older than this JTE that have your back you may find they take care of things for you.