Saying goodbye to my coworkers

Saying goodbye to the students was hard, but of course saying goodbye to my coworkers was harder. Our last teachers meeting in my classroom:

We also had a nice picnic in my classroom after work, laughed a lot (a lot!), and exchanged presents. I’m so happy they liked the ‘eleventh monkey weirdos’ I made for them. 

Tomomi, Yuko, Eddie, Yuka, Keiko (a.k.a. Manager), Duncan, Kazuko, Miyuki, Natsuko and Katie.
I’ve never been part of such an awesome team before. Everybody helps each other and everybody loves each other. I was so lucky to have been placed at AEON Senri Chuo, these people have made my life in Japan so much more enjoyable, and I’m sad I won’t be sharing my life with them anymore. I miss them already.

I was pretty strong and didn’t cry all day until that very last moment on the Osaka subway when I saw Miyuki cry. Then Tomomi also started to cry and then the three of us probably looked like idiots to the other commuters on the train. Especially when I hugged and kissed them both right there on the train  (things the Japanese never do in public). Looking at back at them from the platform in Umeda we burst out laughing through our tears and the public spectacle was complete. I only wish I had a picture, yet I’ll never forget the sight of the two of them sitting there laughing, crying and waving at me, when the train took off. It was the perfect last memory to make…
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Saying goodbye to my Friday students

My last day as a teacher at AEON Senri Chuo. More sad goodbyes, and an awesome last lesson with lots of laughing fits. I miss my students so much, already.
13:00-13:50 Discovery: Nobuo, Sadako, Sumi, Eri, Yuko & Kayoko
17:00-17:50 Wizard Blue: Mana
19:00-19:50 Odyssey: Midori & Toshi
20:10-21:00 Discovery: Jun & Ayumi

Weirdos for my coworkers

All right, that was it. My last day of teaching is over, I am no longer an English teacher… It’s hard to wrap my mind around it, really. Right now, I’m saying goodbye to the last students and soon all the teachers and staff will have a little dinner picnic on the floor of one of our classrooms. I’m going to have to say goodbye to my coworkers now and I suspect it’s not going to be easy. Of course, I made everyone a little gift to remember me by and this is what they look like:

Monkey badges with oversized button eyes, one for each coworker and one for me. They look a little weird (hence the name), but I like them they fit right in with the rest of my family of slightly awkward ‘eleventh monkey’ creatures. I hope my lovely coworkers will wear them proudly and like them as much as I do. A lot of love went into making them anyway!

Saying goodbye to my Thursday students

Hugged a lot of lovely students goodbye again today. I’m getting used to it now and I can endure it without shedding tears. Wonder if I can keep it dry tomorrow, my very last day! Also, Katie taught her first two lessons today and I observed. It was strange to see someone else teach my classes to my students, but she did really well and it was fun to see. I know that she will take good care of my adorable students.

14:00-14:50 Checkpoint: Kyoko & Yuki
16:00-16:40 Let’s Go 3 (PL): Yuchan
17:00-17:50 Wizard Blue: Airi, Ryo, Chisato, Yuta, Shuri & Iori
19:00-19:50 Odyssey: Yuri, Kanae, Mitsuko, Michiyo, Kyoko, Yoko & Miyuki
20:10-21:00 Breakthrough: Naoki, Tatsuya & Nana

Eating with my coworkers

On normal workdays I have lunch and dinner by myself, don’t worry it’s not lonely just peaceful after teaching and talking the whole day. But with only such few days left at work time to spend with my lovely coworkers is really starting to run out… So all of us foreigners went out for lunch at Ganko, and Tomomi and I had dinner at Outback for dinner.
Ganko is one of our favorite teishoku (lunch set) places in Senri Chuo, they serve a lot of delicious Japanese food for a really low price, what more could one want? I had one of my (and Eddie & Duncan’s) all time favorites: Chicken Namban (or something like that). It was fun to get to know Katie (my replacement) a bit better and we enjoyed telling her how things are really done at our school in Senri Chuo.
And after a long of day of teaching Tomomi suddenly suggested to have dinner together in Umeda. What an awesome and wonderfully spontaneous idea! We shared an American steak and delicious Aussie cheese fries at Outback, a restaurant Yasu and I already spent way too much money at in the past, so it was fun to go there one more time. And of course we also enjoyed a lot of girltalk and a little gossiping!

Saying goodbye to my Wednesday students

Another day with great students and sad goodbyes… I even cried after my favorite Checkpoint class, I’m such a crybaby, but don’t worry they didn’t see it!
13:00-13:50 Breakthrough: Hitomi & Yoriko
14:00-14:50 Encounter: Koji, Makiko, Yoshio, Reiko & Yoriko
17:00-17:50 Wizard Blue: Akari, Haruka, Marina & Saya
18:00-18:50 Voyage: Naosuke & Kana
19:00-19:50 Checkpoint: Yoshiko, Ai, Yuka & Takaaki
20:10-21:00 Gear Up: Nana & Kayo