Last week was the first week of the 2009/2010 academic school year. For the last four years I had worked at Nishi junior high school only 2 minutes walk from my house. So I had become very accustomed to leaving my house at 7.50 and arriving to work for an 8 o’clock start.
This year though my working schedule has changed completely. I now visit four different schools, two elementary schools and two junior high schools. Not only that, but the schools I visit are the furthest away from the center of Susono.
On a practical level, this means that I am getting up much earlier than when I worked at nishi. Definitely not an issue at the moment as the weather is getting warmer and the mornings much lighter. Until November, the ALT lifestyle is very comfortable! BUT…I know it is going to be horrible when the temperature drops and the mornings are dark at the end of the year.
On the upside, moving schools has been a good thing for me. I think I was getting too comfortable at nishi. Changing this up is keeping me on my toes, e.g. giving speeches introducing myself to teachers and students.
Also moving schools within a town the size of Susono has meant that I now have colleagues who I have worked with at other schools; who I have met outside work, e.g. neighbours; whose childern I have taught, etc. Moving schools is great for getting to know more people within the community.