Finals at the Junior High

Right now its finals at the junior high. Reflecting the Japanese value
of group unity, students are organized into 45-member classes. They
travel from subject to subject with the same members of their class.
At finals, the entire grade of 180 students takes the same subject
test at the same time. Naturally the teacher of that subject cannot be
in 4 classrooms at once, so we have proctors in four classrooms and
the subject teachers stay in the faculty room. The subject teacher's
responsibility is to visit each classroom and see if the students have
any questions. Usually students' "questions" are covert attempts to
get outright answers. So far, I've been hip to their tricks. Because
my Japanese is not so good, I don't proctor the exams. Parents have
been concerned in the past that their child won't get the help they
need if the English teacher doesn't have the language to explain a
concept. I'd agree with them. Meanwhile, it makes for a slow day. But
it is nice to be on the other side of the test, where all my work is
done (except for grading) and the onus is on the students to perform.
Japanese classes don't have the discussion/interaction that American
classrooms do, so the teacher must take the floor for the entire class
period. Not my idea of learning, but I'm not here to change things.

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