Katteihoumon today. This is where the teacher comes to visit you in your home. What joy!
Today was Doris’ teacher from JHS.
So along came a dapper chap in pinstripe trews clutching his files, to have a chat about young Doris who he has known for all of , what? two weeks now.
There are, of course, convoluted rules about inviting the ‘Sensei’ into your house. how many times you invite and he refuses, in some areas of Japan apparently, a compromise is struck, where by said Sensei stands in the genkan and you sit seiza on the step, so as not to be above him/her.
I avoid all of this by just saying “come on in”, and pointing at the slippers.
Things didn’t get off to a good start, as I pulled a chair out for him and the back came off it, like I’d booby trapped the teacher’s chair then forgotten which one it was.
We sat, he told me things I know about Doris, that she smiles a lot, looks happy, is helpful, is prepared for lessons, appears to be enjoying the softball team.
Do I have questions?
I do not.
Well then, thanks very much and buh bye!
The elementary schools in Japan do the same thing at the beginning of the school year. Everyone always tells me that the teacher wants to see the child’s room and I always get myself in a lather about how I am going to refuse, as I just don’t think it’s necessary, then they never do ask, so I do’t know if that does sometimes happen in some areas, or it’s just an old old way of doing things.
My kids’ elementary school doesn’t actually do ‘katteihoumon’ because the catchment area is just too big.
What we have is, ‘kouku meguri’, where the teacher goes around to each child’s house, but you don’t have to be in, they’ll just leave a card in the postbox.
I suppose at a stretch I get the point of it in JHS. Doris leaves at 7.45, she comes back at 6.30, it’s good to have some kind of contact, to know to whom you need to address any concerns you may have etc.
The elementary school? Less point, let’s face it we are there at the school in our slippers at least once a month for one thing or another.
I was most surprised to learn from my friend Nora, that they even do this for Kindergarten. My kids didn’t go to Kindy, they went to daycare,so I didn’t know, but I cannot see the point of the home visit in Kindy.
The mother’s take the kids to the classroom each morning and see the teacher then, they pick them up each afternoon, they are, like in school, there once a month for something.
So now looking at the kids school schedule.
Bearing in mind that they are thinking about bringing back Saturday school due to the ‘lack of teaching hours’.
After 2 weeks Spring holiday, they went back to school on the Monday and did 2 hours Monday, Tues, Wed.
Thursday they had the day off. Friday they did another 2 hours. The following Monday lunches started but they came home straight afterwards nixing periods 5 and 6 for a week.
This week, Mon, Tues, Wed. is the fulll metal jacket, then Thurs and Fri they finish at 1pm for ‘kouku meguri’.
Next week we have Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, 1pm finish. Wednesday is a public holiday, ‘Showa Day’.
Saturday of course is off, but it begins what we call ‘Golden Week’ with 3 more public holidays, so the kids go back on Thursday the 7th.
So it’s over a month since the actual beginning of the school term before the kids actually get into a full schedule of lining up, getting into groups and taking tests.
Not that I am much better myself, but really couldn’t time be managed a little better?