Over the last few days I have been collecting many letters from students at different schools. I thought I would share some favourites with you all.
Firstly, there was/is one message that leaves me entirely confused. "You are very bocis" - anyone who can explain/interpret that one gets a prize!
Otherwise, I have had many comments on 'big voice', something I say to the students a lot in a country where it appears they are actively discouraged from opening or moving their mouths whilst speaking. While this may work in Japanese - given intonation is nonexistent - in English class it is a big problem! So I picked up a habit from my old (favourite) English teacher of saying "big voice" to the students I couldn't hear. As a result I have received messages like "I like your big voice" or "I was impressed with your big voice" or just "Big Voice" written in large letters across the card.
Most kids say they won't forget me, but I'm not naive enough to believe that! One 9th grade boy wrote "I'll never forget you (Maybe)" and quite frankly I admire his honesty!
A few kids have written that I look "fine" - but I am not entirely sure if they realise what that means, aside from using it as a response to "how are you?" ("I'm fine thank you and you"). A few more have written that they love me - which is nice, but again I don't think they entirely understand it's meaning.
I do like the ones that are written to me but talk about me in the 3rd person, like "I like Kate" or "I will miss Kate". I especially like the ones who have directly translated 'sensei' and refer to me as 'Kate Teacher'.
Of course there are plenty of interesting grammatical mistakes, or straight out mistakes. I like the one that says "Kate's class is easy to under" - presumably 'understand' or "Thank you all very much" - that's right, the kids have decided I have multiple personalities...
Probably my favourites are the ones that are sincere - from the kids whose names I learnt (which is a big accomplishment given how many kids I have taught this year), and then the ones that talk about how difficult English is!