The Final Wrap – School’s Out!

Well… that’s that! In a blink of an eye, somehow I am finished with teaching schools in Japan. Today, at my second school, a special needs school, I went to graduation. It was an interesting day, some happy faces, some nervous ones.



It is interesting to me that comparing the two, very very different schools, yet two very similar graduation ceremonies. Luckily, there are far less students at today’s school, so the process of handing everyone a diploma took less time. Some of the students present with more severe intellectual disabilities struggled to stay still for the seventy-minute ceremony, but then again so did plenty of others! The heaters were more effective at least!

After the diplomas were done, it was time for the principal to give a speech, followed by a VIP who spoke loudly and from a non-speaker of Japanese, it seemed a little angrily. Oh well, passion is always good right?


A few more speeches, the school song (which includes clapping by the way) and we were done. Oh no, a few photos quickly. Lots of congratulations. I had a meeting with the English teachers after that and just like that, I walked away from the teachers’ room for the last time.


Last week in my final classes there the students, a fellow teacher and I had a go at making some Australian ‘food’. Meat pies – well you can find them out of Australia. Apart from a shortage of pastry they came up all right. See photos for references.


As for the lamingtons, well, they weren’t quite as successful. I never realised how tricky they were to make. A lamington, for the non-Australian, is a very light sponge cake covered in chocolate sauce and finally dipped in coconut. The process of dipping the lamingtons was extremely… ummmm… let’s say messy. I cleaned up afterwards and believe me there was a bit to clean up! And we ran short of coconut too. Plus there wasn’t a lot of sponge cake so they were half-sized lamingtons. And I realised that we should have cut the crust off the sponge as well. But, once inside the mouth, little of this mattered!



So are the perils when you cook stuff you don’t actually cook at home with an international audience. Certainly though, these types of lessons have always been a lot of fun. And now, well, who knows what the future will bring but for the foreseeable future, I won’t be doing this sort of thing for a while.

Two years of teaching, oh and I received dozens of presents from the school too, lots of thank yous and the staff at both schools as I left stopped to applaud me which was really just awkward. Staff at special needs’ schools world wide deserve applause for their patience, care and dedication. The school I was fortunate to work at once a week for two years is no exception.

And out into the wilderness. Suddenly, I am unemployed. End of the month sees my wife and I return to Yokohama for six weeks before heading back to Australia. I CAN work, but only being available for a short period is going to make it hard to employ me. We will see.



WATCH THIS SPACE – Short Journeys: Japan is coming either tomorrow or Saturday. I’ve spent a lot of time this week editing the first edition and it’s almost ready. I have a cover too. This one will be released on Kindle, Payhip and Lulu at the same time. So many choices. It’s the longest of all Short Journeys easily and has a special chapter on Iwate, the prefecture I’ve called my home these two years, and has more photos than ever as well. It will be a perfect introduction to Japan for someone considering a journey here.

Thanks as always for your support.


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