One of the staples of being an Assistant Language Teacher is the ‘English Board’. I’m not the biggest fan of this idea because I’m not sure how many of the students actually look at it but the other teachers at the school (maths, science etc.) seem to love the boards. I now look at it as giving the other teachers a conversation starter with me (if it wasn’t for English Boards and Omiyage, small biscuits you give to the other teachers when you return from a trip, I would barely have Japanese conversations at work) and it also it’s a tangible way to show I do work!
I can’t seem to find pictures of all the English Boards I’ve done (my computer died in March and the back-up of my pictures was a bit patchy) but I thought I’d show those I could find. Since my school has two assistants most of these have been done with someone else so I can’t take all the credit/blame for how they turned out!
This was last years Halloween English Board. We were especially proud of the 'spider webs'.
This year's Halloween English Board. Although the assistant I work with has changed you can still see my influence if you note what is exactly the same on both boards (the bats, ghosts and silver spider web with a red spider!).
My Summer English Board. My main thinking when making this was that I didn't want to put up a whole load of English that they wouldn't read over the summer. The board is right at the entrance to the school so I thought colourful and simple would be best!
This one was also all me. Can you tell? I might have been working through some rage issues after teaching more students about Scotland and getting the same response to a puffin picture: 'aaaa! Penguin da!'. NO IT'S NOT! This was originally made for the ALT Mid Year Conference to put in the poster room but it would have been a shame to waste its message so it got a month on the English Board as well. Yes, the border is tiny puffins. I was very into this message!
This is our current English Board for November. The genius idea for a board showing Japanese-people-that-foreigners-might-know was not mine I'm sorry to say! However, it worked out that due to schedule changes I had a day of no classes while Nathan, the other assistant, had lots and a mountain of marking to go with it so I ended up making the majority of this one (except for the top left brown square and the bottom right black one). I can tell you after hours of cutting out all those kanji names I never want to even see kanji again!
As you can see we’ve been using a small notice board as our English board. However, new massive standing notice boards have just arrived at our school. I’m not sure if the school actually ordered them but they really don’t seem to know what to do with them so they’ve offered us three! We’re brainstorming ideas of what to put on them now (student work, teachers profiles, school info in English….any other ideas anyone?!). I guess I’ll be making a lot more boards in the future!