Robert & Roberta Adair




Stories from Robert & Roberta Adair

I have a runny nose, I am on my 3rd cup of coffee at Mr. Donuts (a donut/coffee chain in Japan), I’m prepping for a sunday message, it’s 11:12 in the morning on a Tuesday and it’s going to be a good/full day.  Tuesday afternoon I teach English to kids ranging from 3 years old up to first graders.  The pre-school where I teach was inundated by the tsunami, is just a few blocks from our mother church, has a buddhist history, and loves the Christ followers from Shiogama Bible Baptist Church.

My office today

My office today

Through this relationship I was asked to teach English here once a week. This all started about a year ago for me. (I was actually asked to do this within an hour of arriving in Shiogama last March.) So every Tuesday afternoon I walk through the gates of the pre-school sometime between 2:00-2:15 to set up my classroom for the afternoon. Usually the busses are being loaded with kids and there is a fair bit of chaos. Being one of the few caucasian faces these kids every see I usually get yelled at playfully. Usually things like  eigo-no-hito (english person (language not country)), amerika-jin (American), Robaato-sensei (Teacher Robert), and sometimes kids call me the name of some other foreigner they know.

I say hello to the teachers, go to the classroom I use and start setting up. By this time of day the other teachers are usually ready to go so they will bring my their kids a few minutes early so I get to juggle watching 3 year olds while setting up the equipment we use for our english curriculum. Then at 2:30 classes start. Three 45 minute classes with a 15 minute break between classes.

It’s a long afternoon. I’ll have between 3-8 kids in each class. Both the children and myself are still learning Japanese so communication can sometime be tough. Oh, one cool thing I forgot is that even though it is a buddhist school we are there openly as Christian and I get to start each class by teaching the kids some scripture in both English and Japanese and then having a short discussion or lesson. We are also free to invite kids to all of our events at church.

Anyway, class will be 3 hours of teaching, corralling kids, dealing with arguments between kids, occasional tears, and kids falling asleep because they are studying english during their normal nap time. I love Tuesday afternoons and the wipe me out.


How I feel on the inside during some classes

Going back to the top God really does love these kids and has given us a remarkable opportunity to be in this school. At the same time I can often be frustrated with behavior problems and worry about how fruitful this work really is. Please pray that those of us involved in this work would love these children well.  Pray that we would have fun and creative ways to clearly communicate who God is. Also pray that I would never lose my temper when dealing with a few tough personalities.  (hasn’t happened yet :-) )

By the way, any of you with experience teaching english to young children in the states of overseas any input or advice is greatly appreciated.

Another side note on the pictures. I just snapped a few at the coffee shop as we try not to show our kids  faces on the internet but trust me, they are super cute.

Robert Adair

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