As usual, things are not going as expected. I was able to hold the attention of my smaller classes of 20 yesterday with a lesson about Bob Marley and Jamaican history, and I even got the students to sing along. I don't think I can do this the same way in a larger class, but I will give it a shot tomorrow.
Classes are very challenging to plan here. The teachers want me to make "interesting" lesson plans for kids that have a very low proficiency and an even lower level of interest in English. Their idea of fun are "worksheets that the kids can do by themselves" because "they don't listen and can't work in groups". They also have no set curriculum, which is good for creative license but drastically increases my workload, and the teachers have no time or interest to co-plan lessons. I'm going to try some games in the classes in which the kids seem to be paying attention, and I guess try and find a good set of worksheets to pass out when it is impossible to make myself heard. Any suggestions for pre-made materials that I can use?
As for the "worst class"- they seem to be a pretty cool class. Sure, the kids may not like English at all, but I seem to have connected with them pretty well. The "worst kids" are the ones who say hello and even kind of pay attention. It is going to be challenging to hold their interest, but at least I have the momentum to start with. Make no mistake- many of the kids in this class are reading comics or magazines, checking their mobile phones, drawing, sleeping, and talking, but they are relatively good kids. If I could have taught them from shogakko, I think these same kids would have turned out a lot different, as to their negative views toward English.
I think I found a way to make the time pass by more quickly. Every time I give the class a worksheet to fill out, I'm going to be playing music. Maybe I'll take five minutes each class to introduce an artist that they've never heard before, and teach them the genre, country, or any other interesting materials. If nothing else, the music will make the time go by more quickly.
So that's it. There will be no team teaching here, just my one man show. Hopefully I can step up to the challenge. At the end of the year, if the students show an interest in foreign cultures and people, and if they develop a wider interest in music because of what I play in class I will be content.