Sunday, April 04, 2010

Getting ready

Tomorrow I am going to Fukuoka to spend a day doing "kids" things before beginning a 10-day logistical nightmare! My father is bringing another group of 6 people from New Zealand for a tour of rural Japan so I will be showing them around here for 6 days then taking them to Hiroshima and Kyoto for 4 nights. I am really looking forward to it. My step-Mum is coming this time too and it will be great to see her back here in Japan after far too long an absence. If it was just the tour I would be in my element - I like organising places to eat, places to go, places to stay, little envelopes of money etc. The biggest problem is going to be working out where my children need to be and when (school starts again on Thursday), who is g0ing to pick them up, who is going to make their lunches for the school outings while I am away etc. Fortunately I have a great husband and parents-in-law who are used to me asking many favours!
Anyway, I need to do a zillion things before we leave tomorrow, but one of them was to clear out the photos on the camera. In doing so I discovered so many blog entries that I took photos for, but never quite had time to write about. I won't guarantee that I will ever get around to doing them all, but here is one... a little late, but better than never!
This is a photo of my husband trying to work out which teachers have changed at our children's school. The whole system at the end of the school year frustrates me intensely! For anyone who doesn't know here is a brief rundown of what happened here this year.
The children finished school on Friday March 26th at 11:30am. It is the end of the school year so next year they will become 2nd and 4th graders. The same afternoon the teachers were told by the board of education who would be staying and who would be shifting to other schools.
The following day the newspaper printed which teachers would be changing - only in such a stupid way it was impossible to actually work out who was leaving and who was coming. Eventually enough ringing around among the parents confirmed that 6 of the 11 staff would be changing this year.
On Tuesday the 30th all the children were expected to go back to school to farewell the teachers who were leaving - the parents were expected to have prepared flowers, messages etc. before then too. This was the last day for those teachers at that school. That's right folks - they were told on the afternoon of the 26th that they would be changing and their final day before moving to a completely new school was the 30th - nothing like time to clear out your desk and prepare yourself mentally for moving from a school of 50 children to one of 600 children an hour drive away! The new school term starts on the 8th so the teachers basically have just over one week to find their new school, get acquainted with it, decide which grade they will be teaching (no real specialist teachers here so this year they may be teaching 1st grade and next year 6th grade) and then get prepared for the kids to come back. No wonder they need to use textbooks for every subject...
I really don't understand the logic of all this. Why can't they tell them earlier and give them time to prepare etc.? This would also mean on the final day of school the children could say goodbye properly and not have to go back to school in the spring holidays to say goodbye. Some things I will never understand....


  1. Good luck for tomorrow and the next ten days!

    Thankyou so much for letting me stay last night - great nights sleep!

    If there is anything I can do to help with kids and logistics that ends before four!!! Fat lot of help that would be but if there is just let me know.

  2. We're free for the next few days if you need to drop them off here!

    Please remember Amy's ice cream parfait party at Joyfull on the 17th, amidst all your planning!