This year there seems to be more emphasis on getting the Home Room Teacher (the Japanese HRT) more up-front and involved in the Eigo Noto classes. For some of the Japanese teachers, this is a major step, indeed. And likewise, for many ALTs, it is a conundrum about how to step back more and not be the (often) sole lead teacher that has so often been the case in the past.
So much of what we as foreign teachers have to offer the Japanese education system is a different way of doing things. And for the elementary school Eigo Noto HRTs, we can do much to help them learn from our experience both abroad and in the classrooms.
I have just put the book Team Teaching Together in the Eigo Noto Bookstore. It has more than 50 ways that HRTs and ALTs can interact and support each other in the Eigo Noto classes.
Below is a short list of ways that we might use to do more from our side (the ALT) to rally the support of the HRT in the Eigo Noto classes.
- Ask and encourage the HRT to stand in the front of the class.
- ALT- don’t stand front-center, but off to the side a bit.
- Circle activities on the lesson plan that the HRT is to lead. You could use different color pens for ALT- and HRT-led activities.
- Put check boxes on lesson plan forms for ALT or HRT next to activity sections, indicating that there are times when the HRT is expected to be T1.
- Have the HRT do Lesson Introductions and end-of-class Wrap-ups (まとめ) in Japanese for every class.
This really is a pressing issue this year. If you have any ideas or successes with getting your HRTs more involved, please leave a comment!
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