Weekly Logs Dec.2-8, 2019

Monday;

I am so tired that I cannot continue to work long hours. I actually spend many hours on my bed even in daytime his week. On Monday I taught in the small class and made photocopies of handout in the morning. The rest of the day was just making PPT for listening class. I took a nap for an hour. These days I cannot have time to study English, though, I read English a half hour before going to bed on Monday.

 

Tuesday;

I made PPT for listening class all day. I took a nap in the afternoon. If I didn’t take a nap, I could have not continued to work.

 

Wednesday:

I taught two classes in the morning. I took a long rest on the bed until 3p.m. It took two hours for me to evaluate 5 students’ compositions. I started another PPT making for composition class at 5 p.m. I stopped working at 8.

 

Thursday;

Whole of morning hours were spent for making PPT for composition class. It was from 7 to noon. I taught two classes in the afternoon. After I came back to my residence, I graded quiz that I gave to the small class on Wednesday. It took two hours. It seemed that it was difficult for them to write Japanese Kanji correctly.

 

Friday:

I evaluated fluency of dialogues in the small class in the morning. They didn’t seem to have practiced well. Although I had to evaluate many compositions by the class in the early evening, I gave up. I was on my bed for two hours between morning class and composition class. I tried to evaluate more compositions after the class until 9:30p.m. I got five drafts for the monthly newsletter in the night.

 

Saturday:

The time for correction is shortened, while the number of the drafts increases this month for the monthly newsletter. I have to proofread 5 articles by next Saturday. I usually check four times to complete drafting. Time is limited, so I wanted to finish 5 drafts in one day. The reality was that I could finish only 3.

 

Sunday:

I proofread two drafts that I could not finish yesterday. Some students sent me the second drafts already. Drafts’ go-and-back between students and me continues. In the meantime I had to start PPT making for the classes in the coming week. But I didn’t feel I had energy to continue to work.

This week’s log is shorter than usual. I don’t have time to write in detail. And actually I feel like my memory is blurred.

 

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Weekly Logs Nov.25-Dec.1, 2019

Monday;

I taught in the small class. And then I went to the teachers’ room to make photocopies of reading material. It took a several hours that were more than I expected. So I could not eat the lunch of the teacher restaurant. I ate my lunch in the student restaurant. I went back my residence and tried working, but I couldn’t. I was too tired to work. It was 5 p.m. when I got up my bed. I started making PPT for Wed/Thu listening classes. I cooked my supper at 8, had supper at 9, and went to bed at 10.

 

Tuesday;

In the morning I prepared for the small class of Wednesday until 9 a.m. Since then I continued to make PPT for listening classes. This week PTT making for listening class took 8 hours in total. Since it was 12 hours last week, I could shorten the hours to make it. I took a nap at 3 p.m. for an hour. Got up at 4 and then started PPT making for the composition classes. I wanted to make less PPT slides than usual by using photocopies of reading material in the class. But it couldn’t be short.

 

Wednesday;

I taught two classes in the morning. One was the listening class and the other was small class. Both were for 1st grade. I realized that a native Japanese teacher was not necessary for that listening class. I mean, in the class, I just play the audio and say “The answer is A.”, and play the audio again and say “The answer is B”, and so on. I felt like I was just a kind of machine to play listening materials. After the lunch I spent the whole of afternoon to make PPT for Thu/Fri composition classes.

 

Thursday;

I tried finishing PPT making for composition class by noon. This week it was 14 hours to make PPT for 90 minutes class for composition. I hate or worry about a shortage of PPT slides. If PPT doesn’t last by the end of the class, it would be sheer evidence that I was ill-prepared. So I want to have enough slides of PPT. Anyway, I spent so many hours for PPT that I could not finish the evaluation of students’ composition by class hours.

 

Friday;

Fortunately I had already finished the evaluation of compositions of Friday class. So I tried evaluating the rest of Thursday class, but I was so tired that I could not do any job in the morning. Composition class was in the early evening. I realized in the class that one of the best students looked so tired and sleepy. I was anxious if the student was okay or not. Got back in my residence I continued the evaluation of compositions of last week. I went to bed at 10 p.m. Since I was so tired, I thought I could fall asleep soon. But I could not sleep until 1 a.m.

 

Saturday;

I woke up at 6 a.m. as usual. Since it was weekend, I wanted to sleep more, but I could not sleep again. Although I got up, I didn’t feel good. What I could do in the morning was just making two evaluation sheets for compositions that I got from two classes this week. I took a lunch in the university restaurant and then went outside of university to go to a grocery store. I bought a lot of vegetable for a week. I took a nap afternoon and started composition evaluation. One of compositions was so broken in grammar that it took more than one hour for me to write explanation and correction with red ink. I worked for four hours, cooked my supper, thought about work schedule while I was waiting for cooling down of the supper (I don’t like too-hot meal), ate them at 9, and went to bed at 10.

 

Sunday;

I have to teach the small class three times in “Odds number week”. The coming week is the fifteenth week. I thought I had to prepare well for that class. I made three teaching plans for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday classes. I finished the preparation by 11a.m. And then I started to make a handout for the composition class. Actually the students do not take notes of my lecture. I told them to do so but they don’t seem to do at all. They just see my lecture like TV show. When they write their compositions as a homework assignment, they have already forgotten what they heard from me in the class. I think that one solution would be to give them a handout having a lot of blanks to be filled with. I will make the students fill the blanks during the class so that it will be a kind note-taking. I am not sure if it will work or not, but I want to give it a try. I finished drafting of the handout at 3, wrote this log one hour, and evaluated students’ composition from 4 to 7 p.m. That was the end of my weekend.

 

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Weekly Logs Nov.18-24, 2019

Monday;

I just wanted to take a shower in the morning, and all of a sudden I got a blackout. Tap water also stopped. So I brushed my teeth with drinking water from bottle. I was lucky because I had already taken my breakfast before the blackout. At eight in the morning was my small Japanese class. I usually don’t use PPT for this class. So I could do my class without electricity. I went back my residence before ten. There was a task that I did not need any electricity. That was evaluation and correction of compositions of Friday class. Electricity came back around noon. After the lunch I turned my computer on and proofread a draft of monthly newsletter of Japanese. It took two hours to correct the third draft of a student. I sent it by email and started making PPT for Wednesday and Thursday’s listening class. It took five hours. I cooked my supper at eight and went to bed at 10 p.m.

 

Tuesday;

My small class is basically for reading. Six students are not of Japanese department. They passed the university’s entrance examination by taking Japanese test for foreign language test. The course “University Japanese” is a required subject for them. A textbook is designated by the university. But I found that textbook was so boring, I decided to use other teaching materials once in five classes. The problem is what to use for such supplementary teaching. I thought of two choices; one was to use more interesting reading material, and the other was to do communicative activities using a much easier textbook. My dilemma was that I wanted to improve their communication skills of Japanese, but it was not likely for them to have a chance to use Japanese for communication in real situation. Probably it would be wise to concentrate on reading without wasting time for communication skills. So I used a different reading material that was more interesting than designated textbook last time. However, I had got other problems. The level of that article was still higher for some of six students. Therefore, I changed from reading to communicative activities using easier textbook for the next day class on Wednesday,

I don’t have any class on Tuesday, so I can spend all my time to prepare for classes. I made PPT for communicative activities for that small class in the morning. It took two hours. And then I went to the teachers’ room at ten a.m. to print for quiz which was also for that small class. Once I came back from teacher’s room, I made PPT for listening class that I could not completed on Monday. It took 7 hours. That meant it took 12 hours in total to make PPT for 90 minutes class. I couldn’t make a minute-by-minute time scheduling for 90 minutes because I didn’t have time to practice. I worked two hours more to evaluate compositions of Friday class before going to bed.

 

Wednesday;

The deadline was on Thursday. I mean, the drafts of articles for the monthly newsletter had to be submitted by the following day. This month I was asked by four students to proofread their drafts. One of those students had overlooked my email for more than one week, and sent the second draft to me Tuesday night. I had to proofread it immediately. I started proofreading at 6 a.m. and sent it back at 7 a.m. And then taking a shower quickly, I went to class at 8 that was listening class. I spent the afternoon doing newsletter drafting by 2 p.m., took nap for an hour, and PPT making for composition class from 3 to 8p.m. I didn’t have enough time to finish it. At around 9 p.m. I sent an email to the last student to tell her completion of drafting. It was good to finish one day advanced to deadline. After that, two students gave me thank-you emails, but two students did not.

 

Thursday;

I tried to finish making PPT for composition class from 7 a.m. until noon. Although it was apparently short for 90 minutes, I gave up because I had to teach in listening class in early afternoon. Composition class was in early evening. The students should have noticed that I was ill-prepared because my teaching was so slow and PPT slides were just repetition that had already shown to them before. After coming back at 5:30, I prepared for my small class and evaluate compositions of Friday class by 8 p.m.

 

Friday;

I taught in small class in the morning. They are not good at speaking. So every time, I make them record my voice on their mobile phone while I am reading out a dialogue on the textbook. And then I make them speak that dialogue in the next class. This time I graded fluency of their dialogues. Back in my residence I evaluated the rest of Friday class compositions. I wanted to finish it by the class in the early evening, but I gave up finishing it. I could not return part of composition in the class. Instead, I added some slides to PPT that was used in Thursday class. They were slides to make student practice “Da-Dearu style” of writing. This worked in the class. Composition evaluation of the former week still continued. I spent three hours for it after the class. It was obvious that I spent many hours for Friday class composition. One of reasons was that I have to proofread newsletter draft last Saturday. Another reason was that everybody in Friday class submitted composition that was 28. On the other hand, only two third students of Thursday class submitted composition that was only 20. So simply, I have to evaluate more compositions for Friday class. I angry with Thursday class’s poor attendance. But it’s true that less composition helps me a little.

 

Saturday;

Saturday was, again, another working day. I spent a whole of morning hours to evaluate last week’s composition. I went to a grocery store as usual and found that vegetable’s prices had gone up much, although they were still cheaper than vegetables in Japan. Once I finished evaluation of last week’s composition, I started evaluation of this week’s composition. This time I made the students write a memo that could be a preparation for job interview. Since several weeks before, I told them to find a Japanese company that seemed to be attractive. And I told them to write two things last week; 1. Why a student chose the company, and 2. How the student can contribute to the company using his/her skills. Saturday afternoon was not enough to evaluate all of the students’ composition, but I checked some of them. I am sorry to say, but I am sure that a human resource personnel would not like to hire most of them. Because what they wrote was too simple without any concrete ideas. They didn’t check even what the company was doing. I’d say no one is going to hire them. I stopped working at 8, had a supper at 9, and then wrote part of this log. Although I went to bed at 10:30, I couldn’t fall asleep at 11p.m., 12a.m., 1a.m., and was still awaken at 2a.m.

 

Sunday;

Yes, it is today. I felt a headache in the morning. Especially the between eyes was so aching that I could not look at the computer screen. I didn’t start working in the morning. I took shower and went outside to cut my hair. Coming back from haircut, I wrote a long email and sent it around 11a.m. I tried to evaluate composition of this week in the afternoon, but I couldn’t do that. I took a nap. I got up from the bed at 5p.m. and then prepared for Monday’s small class. I cooked my supper and…, uh, this week’s logs have already been too long. Better to stop writing. What I need is just to take a rest.

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Weekly Logs Nov.11-17, 2019

There has been one thing that I don’t write clearly because I don’t think it is appropriate to write about it. Since my students visit this blog, I think it would be better not to write what it is.

Monday;

I taught in a small class in morning. They are not students in Japanese department. Many people are saying that a native Japanese teacher should teach students in Japanese department, not the other department’s students. So I will be removed from the position in coming 2nd semester. I got this class by coincident or even as an accident. I like my six students, but I cannot continue to teach them. I feel very sad because it will be like abandoning them. Their Japanese proficiency is specifically only reading. They cannot do oral/aural communication well. So I wanted to improve their communication skill, but time is almost running out. After the class was just a working on a computer. It took eight hours before going to bed.

 

Tuesday;

I don’t have a class on Tuesday. Waking up at 6, I started PPT making for listening class at 7 a.m. I finished it by 11. I started another task for my small class. It took six hours. And then I started another PPT presentation at 6 p.m that was for composition class. I couldn’t finish it by the time I went to bed.

 

Wednesday:
I taught two classes in the morning; the first was listening class, and second was the small class. I have to say I was ill-prepared for the small class. I took lunch and went to the teacher’s office to print some documents. It took a whole of the afternoon from 1:00 to 5:30, but I could not finish even one third of the entire volume. I went back to my residence and continued to work to make PPT presentation  for composition class.

 

Thursday:

Composition class was in the afternoon, but I hadn’t completed making PPT when I woke up at 6. I started working at 7, and finished PPT making at noon. The first class in the afternoon was the listening class which is for 1st grade students. I have two classes of it and I basically teach the same thing to two classes. This week I checked how well they can use Ko-So-Ado words. Interestingly, Thursday class students were almost perfect (actually Wednesday class not). Anyway I had a problem with the composition class in early evening. The number of PPT slides was apparently short for 90 minutes class. I tried to use time to make student say the differences of transitive verbs and intransitive verbs of Japanese. However, what I prepared couldn’t last until the end. I don’t know if it’s acceptable or not, I finished the class 5 minutes earlier.

 

Friday:

Two composition classes for 2nd grade are on Thursday and Friday. They must be the same. But I had to add some PPT slides for Friday class because shortage was apparent in the class on the day before. I started making PPT slides at 7 in the morning and finished it at 9. That was about onomatopoeia of Japanese. I expected that it could last ten minutes. Anyway once I finished PPT thing, took shower, and went to the teacher’s room. I had to print a lot of documents by the deadline. I had already done one third of it on Wednesday, however, I hadn’t done for the rest two thirds. I carefully checked the document and made some corrections. I completed that task around 2 p.m. and went back my resident. I boiled water and cooked Udon noodle for my late lunch. And then at 3 p.m., I went to the composition class. Teaching onomatopoeia went well for covering up the shortages of slides, although onomatopoeia is not used so often in composition but very much in manga. Actually I got a little problem in the class, but I should not write about it right now for the privacy of a student. I hoped that the student would have a nice weekend.

 

Saturday;

Saturday was another working day. The Japanese department issues monthly newsletters. I had to check and correct students’ draft. This time I got draft from four students. I returned the first draft last Sunday. Since I got three 2nd draft this week, so I spent almost all day to check and correct three drafts. I went outside at noon to have lunch in the university restaurant and then went to a grocery store. I bought vegetable for the week. It seemed that prices went up because of the season.

 

Sunday;

Every weekend I evaluate and correct students’ compositions from Thursday and Friday classes. I couldn’t do that on Saturday because of newsletter things, so I started it Sunday morning at 7. I ate lunch in the university restaurant and went to a supermarket to buy rice. It was 5kg. I continued evaluation of compositions and finished one class at 5p.m., and then prepared for my small class in Monday morning. I had to evaluate compositions of second class. Snowy outside, it has turned to be white.

I was really exhausted by hard working of these days. Although still one and a half months remain for this semester, I would like to improve my working style in the 2nd semester.

I drew the picture below long time ago for introducing Te-form of verbs. I don’t like the studying guy in the picture, because it reminds me of what I was in my university days. Why are you studying hard in the very last day before the exam? You see now it is almost midnight. Why didn’t you start studying three days before? Why couldn’t you expect this might happen if you didn’t study hard? It is so terrible. I don’t want to remember the feeling of that kind.

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Weekly Logs Nov.4-10, 2019

Monday;

I taught a small class at 8 in the morning. Since I wanted to print some handouts, I went to the teachers’ room. As usual, I hadn’t met any teachers there. So I left there once I finished photocopying handouts. They were three Japanese poems that I wanted to use in composition class. It was for educational purpose in classroom. So I don’t think there would be a copyright issue. The rest of the day was spent for making PPT that was to be used in the listening classes of the 1st grade.

 

Tuesday;

No class, but I worked all day. PPT makings were for listening classes of 1st grade and for composition classes of 2nd grade. I practiced the class teaching in the early evening with measuring time.

 

Wednesday;

There were two classes in morning. I was making PPT for composition classes in the rest of the day. I could not finish it.

 

Thursday;

I started making PPT at 6a.m. I could finish it at 8, and then I started editing audio data for listening course. There were two classes in the afternoon. When the first class was over, I forgot to take my USB thumb drive off from the computer. I got to know it when I started the second class. Since the classrooms are in the different buildings and it is a little bit far to take it back by myself, I asked two male students to go get my USB memory. I think it was better for them to spend several minutes outside because they don’t like the class.

 

Friday;

The morning class became even smaller. There were only four students. I asked them to do a debate by two by two. One pair like doing sport outside or gymnasium that is real sport, and another pair like doing video game that is not real sport. Their proficiency for utterance was still not good to make discussion. So debate was not going well. After the class, I edited audio data for listening and evaluated some students’ composition. I taught a composition class in the early evening. They still feel it difficult to distinguish transitive verbs and intransitive verbs of Japanese. I got back my residence and kept working by 10 p.m. for submitted homework compositions.

 

Saturday;

I evaluated compositions of two classes in the morning. It was a disappointment that one third of one class didn’t follow my direction. I thought it was not easy nor fun to the students to write a composition by reading short Tanka poems on the text book. So I prepared three nice poems that would made it easy to write their impression. We read three poems in the classroom and were moved by them. But one third of students ignored three poems and wrote their impressions to Tanka on the textbook. Actually those students are below average. Perhaps my communications skill was not good for them.

I went to a grocery store when I ate my lunch. I made proofreading and correction very much in detail for three students in the afternoon. When I stopped working, it was 9p.m.

 

Sunday;

I made teaching materials by my computer all day. It was like from 7a.m. to 10p.m. I went outside lunch time only.

I just recalled what one man said to me seven years ago. He said, “a guy’s life is like you worked and worked, then you realize that you are already in 60’s”.

 

Weekly Logs Oct.28-Nov.3, 2019

I couldn’t write my weekly logs for almost one month because it has been too busy.

Monday;

I taught in a class in the morning. That is not for Japanese course but for students who took Japanese test in entrance examination of the university. The class is small. After the class I went to the teachers’ room, worked there for one and half hours, but didn’t meet any other Japanese teachers. I took a lunch as usual. I made some audio data for listening course. It took three hours in the afternoon. Then I practiced two hours for Wednesday’s listening class.

 

Tuesday;

I went to haircut in the morning. Other than that, whole one day was spent for making listening materials. I should not write what it is for. But the problem is that there is the minimum requirement as to time length. It is too long to make.

 

Wednesday;

I taught in two classes in the morning. I went to a bank in the afternoon because I had to submit my mobile phone number as part of my bank account. One of third grade students took me to the bank. After that was four hours of audio data making for the listening course.

 

Thursday;

I was still making audio data in whole of the morning hours. I taught two classes in the afternoon. I asked the second grade students if they knew there were two types of Kanji pronunciations. It was surprising to me that they didn’t know there were On- and Kun-pronunciations for Kanji. Such a meta-knowledge may not help them learn Japanese. But it is second language learning by university students. I thought I had to tell them such basics of Japanese language some time in near future. After the composition class, I continued audio data making for three hours in my residence.

 

Friday;

From 7a.m. to noon, I made audio data for the listening course. I took a nap after the lunch and added some slides to PPT for composition class. Those slides were for comparison between transitive and intransitive verbs of Japanese. Early evening was the composition class. Getting back at 5:30, I continued audio data making. I realized that my audio data was still short for time requirements.

 

Saturday;

I started evaluation and correction of compositions from two classes of second grade students. In the writing Japanese, a writer need to choose and stick to one writing style out of two. One is Desu-Masu style and the other is Da-Dearu style. Even though I told students to write in Da-Dearu writing style, some wrote completely in Desu-Masu style, and many students mixed two writing styles. I wanted to finish evaluation and correction of 51 compositions in one day; hopefully it was like one class in morning and another in afternoon. But I couldn’t finish in one day.

 

Sunday;

Audio data making was the only thing that I have done today. It was like from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. It was still short for the requirement, but I thought I could make it more than that. I went outside only for lunch. I took nap for 30minutes. Other than that, I had no time to rest.

Weekly Logs: Sep.30 – Oct.6, 2019

Monday:

Went to the teachers’ office at 10a.m. Little people were there. I was even asked by a doorkeeper “Where are you going?” I spent two hours in the office. When I left the building, it was almost empty. It was the start of the holidays. After the lunch, I evaluated students’ composition until the night.

The task was to write a memo to his/her manager. Most of the students’ memo had the same kind of mistakes that were very interesting. I made the whole script. It was like; a person, company employee, got two phone calls in the afternoon. At 3:00, the person got a call from one of business partners and made a long conversation. At the end it, the business partner asks “Please leave a message to your manager so that he calls me back”. And then at 3:30, another call came from a school teacher saying “Your kid got sick. Please come to the school to take him back to your home.” Student wrote a memo for this task. Interesting thing was that most students just wrote about conversation with the business partner (unnecessarily in detail). But they just forgot to write why he/she had to leave the work place. They should have written two things; one was asking the manager to make a phone call, the other was reason why he/she was not there. Out of 45 students, only two wrote these two things. Most wrote the business partner’s message only. Two students wrote just “I gotta leave” without mentioning the business partner’s message at all, which was worst. In a Japanese company, what is most important is to inform, to contact, and to consult. Not only Japanese language, I also have to teach them those business skills.

 

Tuesday:

I wrote a long email to one person in the morning. I have already forgotten what I wrote. I think that probably email has already been out of date as a communication tool. People here use SNS to exchange short-yes it’s really short!- messages. Actually I don’t like that short message SNS. Every time I got a message, I feel that I have to make a response within 3 minutes. It makes me stop everything that I am doing. Anyway after I finished writing email in the morning, I had just been evaluating and correcting students’ composition of Friday class. I finished it around 8p.m.

 

Wednesday:

Since the evaluation and correction of compositions were ended in the night before, I started PPT making for the next class. Common errors were misuses of postpositions of “-wa” for “-ga” and “-o” for “-ni”. I made some slides so that student could understand why “-ga” should be used for the subject that is unique and why “-ni” should be used for the object that is targeted by the action.

I went outside at noon to go to a grocery store. I bought some vegetables and a half kilogram of jujube. When I asked how a jujube tasted to one Japanese, she told me that it tasted simply, lightly, and naturally (I am not sure if this conveys the meaning in English, though). It is not so sweet. But I think it is better to eat jujube for my health than to eat 0re0 when I feel I want to eat something. Besides, it is not so sweet that the harmful insects would not damage it much. I guess so from my experience of gardening, and I hope that farmers of this country don’t use pesticide much for jujube.

 

Thursday:

I just kept making PPT for the class. I finished it at 7p.m. It took whole two days. It made me tired.

 

Friday:

I wrote another long email in the morning. For the rest of the day, I had been making a midterm examination for the composition class. For that class, I make the students write compositions as homework assignment. Writing takes time. I don’t want to waste time by making students write in the 90 minutes class. I do feedback in the first half, and give explanation the new homework in the last half. So students write their compositions where I cannot see them. Some students consult together, some use translation on the internet, and even plagiarize someone’s writings from somewhere. So I think it is necessary to do a midterm exam in order to measure the real writing skills of students.

 

Saturday:

I had just kept working in this one-week holiday. I sent some emails to my friends in the morning. So it was a kind of the first thing that I did other than job. After taking a lunch in my apartment, I went to a supermarket to buy 5 kilogram of rice. Actually I don’t like a supermarket in the basement. If a fire happens, many people would be killed because there are not enough exits and fire extinguish facilities will not work properly. So I just avoid going to such a supermarket. But I cannot find rice in nearby grocery stores. I have to go to the supermarket in the basement. Anyway, the rice here has a flavor that is rarely smelled from the rice in Japan. Probably if Japanese smell that flavor of rice, he/she wouldn’t like it. But I like it, not bad. It smells like very old time rice.

 

Sunday:

Yes, it is today. I tried making PPT of composition class which would be of the second week from now. I ate a lunch in the university restaurant, and then went to a grocery store. I bought tomato, onion, green vegetable, garlic, ginger, green bean, and 0re0. Perhaps I am an 0re0 addictive. But I am sure that I am not the only one who is 0re0 addictive. Anyway, when I got back my apartment, I felt I no longer keep working. Did I sleep on the bed one or two hours? I got up from the bed and started PPT making again. I couldn’t finish it but stopped at 6 p.m. I cooked my supper and ate it, and now I am writing this. Coming week will be a quite tough one to me. Until the start of classes for the first grade, only two days remain. I am a Japanese teacher with almost zero experience. How can I …….