I did an internship at Team Gifted, a special school for children with learning disabilities. I’ve been working there for two months from July 6th to August 28th. I worked two days per week at Team Gifted and three days at another place.
Team Gifted is located in Akasaka near the center of Fukuoka. Their regular lessons take place from 11:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 16:00. Before and after lessons, there are usually other activities like Art or PE classes, but I only worked from 11:00 to 16:00. The children have learning disabilities like dyslexia or ADHD and are taught alone or in small groups. They come from all over Japan and are between nine and 16 years old.
My task as an intern was to teach English. Sometimes not all children in one group had the same English level making it hard to teach them in a way they didn’t get bored or felt overstrained. I always tried to include writing, speaking and listening into my lessons. In order to improve their grammar, I gave them grammar sheets or vocabulary exercises and for the speaking part, I played a lot of games with them. Whenever possible, I was talking in English with my students.
I have learned so much during my time at Team Gifted – how to communicate in a language I don’t speak fluently yet and how to keep conversations going even if I get stuck sometimes. Especially the lessons with the younger students, who don’t understand much English, were sometimes really demanding.
In my opinion, the internship was very challenging but a really good experience. I enjoyed working with the children and learned so much from them, for example, being patient, to pay attention on others needs and abilities, and I could of course improve my Japanese.
All of my colleagues were really kind and understanding and tried their best to support me. I felt like a real member of the team right away! Time passed way too fast. It was a great experience, and I’d like to thank everyone who made this possible for me!
Goodbye Japan, see you again soon ^^