Archives For ウイラ

As I mentioned before, I was teaching English at two schools: a public school and a private school in the city of Pital in Colombia.
First of all, speaking of the private school, a principle of school has all power inside of the school. Also in public schools, a principle of school has all power inside the school, even though public schools publicly consist under Department of Education. I am saying schools are not closely associated to Department of Education. (That is my word and it seemed be so on my observation.) In short, all the quality of education in the school depends on only one person who is a principle.
Here is a story of a public school that I actually saw. When I was there, the payment was delayed for all teachers in the public school where my host mother works (an English teacher at the public school). In addition, she has been working overtime for about 24 hours this year, but that overtime was not also transferred to her account. Those overtime pay must be paid monthly. So she talked to her principal, but the principal refused to pay. And when she talked to Department of Education, then they said they can not do anything about the issue of not paying overtime. They gave her another option which is to take days off for the hours of overtime, instead. She had no choices, and took days off.
The other thing was when I and she were having a class, I always saw some students are playing soccer or just having chat outside. I asked her, why they always do’t have a class?She said they have a class with another English class, but the another English teacher doesn’t do anything and just let them play. I was so shocked that is happening in public school. The another teacher is one of the principal’s favorite, so even if he goes home at any time, he will be allowed. Mother, of course, was against it, but the another teacher works longer than her and the principal’s favourite, so she could’t do anything. And sadly she wasn’t one of favourite, so the principle was always being so strict to her. Other teachers don’t care about the issue, no one wants to be the principle’s opponent. No one says anything. The students in that class seem to think that they are all lucky without classes all the time and be able to play all the time. It is so sad reality that their right to receive education are taken away by the teachers who are supposed to give education to children working under Department of Education. We finally got the opportunity to receive public education freely on lots of history and sacrifices, but the reality is sadly adults are taking away the right. To be honest and frankly, there are many such lazy teachers in public schools. They are on absolutely advantageous position as a civil servant, and they are unconsciously or selfishly depriving the right of education from children, everyday. Good-dam world.
One more thing that is in private school. I was so surprised that no one had textbook. Whether to bring an English dictionary further depends on the family because parents need to pay for it. So there were very few students bringing an own dictionary. Regarding textbooks  provided by private schools are distributed to each student, but as data. So the school ask each student to bring printed copies individually. Currently there were no students doing it. Printing isn’t cheap enough. Although textbooks are’t everything, but if there is no textbooks, the time loss is large, and it is difficult to penetrate knowledge equally to each students. Every time the teacher writes the content of the lesson on the whiteboard and the student take a note. That note is everything. The point is that if you do not bring or lose that note, there is nothing. I do not know if it is on purpose, but there are several students who do not bring notes in my class or they said they don’t have them. In short, there is no textbooks, no notes, no dictionary, no knowledge of English, they don’t have anything. The lessons under that situation was pretty tough than I imagined. Because it is almost impossible to let them think new words? It is not math or science. It’s language. They need guideline or at least basic knowledge. Otherwise how can I teach them something with my poor Spanish and under the circumstances that no one has guideline or some of them have no papers. This is not called teaching techniques. This is called a big challenge or severe issue of education. Other different subject as well, teacher’s mouth is all out there. But if you answerer to 10 questions for each student, 20 or 30 students, the lesson will be over. I could’t ask parents to buy an own dictionary. So there was always a conflict about that.
The substantive educational rights possessed by each teacher is enormously large. What students learn in compulsory education depends mostly on the teacher’s hands.

その他、僕の目に留まったのは、僕とマザーが授業をしている時にいつも同じクラスだけずっと授業がないのか外で遊んでいる。マザーに聞くと、あのクラスの英語教師は授業をしないとの事。そんな事が公立学校で許されるのか?と問うと、その教師は校長のお気に入りだから好きな時に家に帰っても、授業をしなくても許されるのだと。マザーは勿論それについて反対だが、その先生の方が職歴が長くベテランだからマザーみたいに新任の教師には何もできないのだと。他の先生たちもそんな人の事なんて気にしないか、校長に目をつけられたくなくて誰も何も言わない。そのクラスの生徒たちは、自分たちだけいつも授業が無くラッキーだと思っているらしい。たくさんの歴史と犠牲の上にようやく与えられた教育を受ける権利を、教師という立場の者がそれを生徒に与える機会を奪うなんて、何とも悲しい現実だ。公立の学校にはそんな怠け者の教師が何人もいるのだという。彼らは公務員という絶対的有利な立場で、今日も   子供達の教育を受ける権利を無意識のまま、自己勝手に剥奪しているのだろう。


I never thought that I would someday stand at the platform in front of children. (I am thinking that early childhood educator is in different category)
To tell the truth, I was always thinking that I don’t want to be an elementary school, junior high school teacher in the future from I was around teenage. Because I thought that I don’t want to be a teacher for kids who are right in the midst of adolescence, because I’ve been seeing my teachers in the position of the students, how hard it is to handle 20, 30 kids, and some classes more than 40.
I was actually amazed myself that I received the offer to be an English teacher. In fact, I was imagining freely that I teach lower grades such as first grade or second grade, so I was surprised at the height of the age group of my class actually over there.
I am still not quite far away from the age of high school students (because I just graduated from high school a few years ago), so I could understand the students’ felling such as wanna skip classes somehow, just wanna play instead of studying, staring a girl that he likes. Sometimes when I see those kids, I remembered my high school memory.
Of course, the early childhood education I studied and the older age education are completely different, and to be a teacher without any  educational experience of those older ages, I straggled a lot and it made me thoughtful. There were countless things that I actually stood on the platform as a teacher.
Away from my classes, littles ones in kindergarten, first grade, second grade seemed to like me pretty much even I didn’t have their classes. After all, I realized that is my field to be in the young age group.
When I was in my teens, I never thought I will be an educator. But rather than being fascinated by the professional job as an educator, I am just fascinated by children, and I am still an educator.




Last week I visited to Garzon where is a close town from Pital where I’m staying. And I saw a homeless boy for the first time.

There’s no homeless people in Pital. I’ve never seen.

I’ve heard there are many homeless people in bigger cities such as Bogota, Medellin, Cali. But comparing with those big cities and Garzon, Garzon is much much smaller. So I didn’t imagine that i see a homeless kid out there.

The homeless boy was sleeping on the street right in front of a bakery shop near a bank. He seemed to be about 12 to 14. He was wearing a T-shirt, half-pants, and shoes, all clothes seemed to be unwashed for a while.

He appeared to be asleep, so I didn’t try to talk to him.

I also saw some police men were taking break at the bakery shop.

That’s the reality people just pass by him regarding like he doesn’t exist. Even police men. Why can’t they or government help even one boy?

But so far, I am one of them. Maybe I seem like one of hypocrites. At least that I could do was just leave some change under his grubby T-shirt. I feel really frustrated that I can’t do anything with this myself right now.

In this world, rich people, politicians, police officers say it’s just one of social issue with like nothing care about them, like it’s inevitable. And they do nothing.  Because they don’t feel nothing, they believe they are not gonna be like them. They think they are different than having no money.

I always don’t understand, why those people who govern countries think this world could be existed for more centuries with leaving people who don’t have much income and no home, sleeping on the street, dig garbage, starve and die.

How can they abandon same humanity.

It’s the end human abandon other human.


The most recent fun is to play with children of the kindergarten and the first grade in a 30 min break time between classes.

When sitting in the schoolyard for to take a breath, I hear “Kaito! Kaito!” And some kids come to me. Like a daily routine, same girls of grade 1 eat their snack sitting right next me every day.

Occasionally when kids’ tension is high, I am surrounded by more than 20 kids and somehow Monster Play starts. Automatically I am a bad monster and they put me in a jail where is the corner of the schoolyard. So I escape and run after kids to catch them. When it starts, it’s almost endless. Entirely I run and run until I get sweat enough. That’s really fun. Everywhere Monster Play is popular among children.

On a relaxing day, I spend a few days leaving on Chibuko and staying with me.
There are some girls who are so strongly tempered and have never done a hug, and if you find mine with a spoof, will you hold hands? Some have kids, kindergarten children seem to have fun climbing to me.

When calm days, I just relax with sitting on a same place in the schoolyard as usual. Then few kids come and start to lean on me.

Some kids are get-tough and they seem like they never hag me. On the other hand there’s some kids who are really still like a baby, and always they see me, they come to me and hag me or hold my hand. Also among kids of kindergarten, it’s fun play to climb up me. Also among some of kindergarteners, it’s a fad that when they see me they run away from me. And they come back closer to me and run again. So automatically chasing play starts. That’s one of communication ways.

I feel most happiness, when I’m playing with little kids. Always my happiness is in there.


休み時間に校庭で座って一息ついていると、Kaito! Kaito!とチビ達から声をかけてくれて、大体毎日同じ子供が僕の座ってる横でおやつを食べる。


Last 1 month of my daily routine in weekdays was I wake up about 7 in the morning, go to the school, come back to the house 4 or 5. Then prepare dinner with my host family and have dinner about 6. After that, from 7 to 10 or 11 for 3 to 4 hours until I sleep is my free time. Basically I study in the free time.

My style to spend time on the weekends, I mostly sleep until 10am, then doodling for a while. And lunch time comes up and have lunch. After lunch, I usually take a little nap. And then study, have dinner, and study again. When I have free time, I either sleep or study.

Sometimes my host family asks me why I don’t go out on weekends, and just sleeping a lot. But I don’t think I’m sleeping a lot. I can say I’m sleeping quite enough though. These days I just wanna relax at home, when I don’t have a class. I guess I would be busier next year, so I prefer to sleep enough while I am not so busy yet. That’s my recent style.

My way of learning language ​​is as simple as studying English before. I anyway watch movies and TV series on Netflix over and over only in Spanish. My recent favourite is Narcos. I have just watched 2 laps so far.

Other studies, I memorize verb conjugation and words.

Speaking of my Spanish level so far, I feel it’s getting better than the first week. Somehow I can understand what people are saying, and also I can tell at least what I want to say. But still a lot times, I can’t understand what people are talking at all by topics. Still long way to be much better.

The best result is I can be following word by word in listening what people are saying. So I could know what words I don’t understand. So I can review later. So I think it’s the best progress of study so far.


I feel fast that already 1month has passed since I came to Colombia.

My life here is to teaching English both at the local private school and the public school from Monday to Friday. Host mother works at public school, host father is at private school.

The main reason that I am here is I’m in charge to take care of the classes for two days  Tuesday and Wednesday by myself while he’s away to study. 10 years old, 11 years old, 12 years old, 14 years old, 15 years old class.

I’ve written in the former post, Columbia’s compulsory education is up to 15 years old, the 15-year-old is the oldest. As my sense, these students who are 15-year-old here seem to be 18 years old in Japan.

I stay at the private school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But other days are half for private school and half for public school.

I am mainly an assistant teacher in the classes of host mother. Recently it’s the exam period, so I’m helping to supervise the exam. Also a play event are coming up next months, so students are practicing play for the event. In those class, I teach pronunciation to students.

My host family has had 2 workers like me before. But both of them never taught at the public school. So I am the first one who teach at there.

I have the classes at the private school every week, some classes for 4 hours a week. Some of students don’t feel freshness, excitement, because I am not new anymore since they met 2 different foreigners. Students know I am just an assistant teacher, main teacher is away, I don’t understand Spanish well. So they don’t regard me that I am a teacher. Moreover most of them want to skip study English every my class and they ask me to play games, play soccer, basketball instead of study. So I am desperate to handle the classes every time.

On the other hand, at the public school, there is times 3 or 4 students compare with the private school, and they never had foreign teachers. So everyone seems to feel very freshness and curiosity at me. I can feel all students respect me and having limited time with me very importantly. Each class just can have one hour of my class each week. Those respects and good attitude make me feel very rewarding.

It’s sad that those who are given chances become more lazy than those who are not given.


A week has passed since I came to Colombia.

I feel like that three weeks passed since I came. At the same time I feel like I have only been a week, I feel I’m getting used to be in this life here as well. Although my Spanish is still poor.

From Monday to Thursday, I work full-time from about 7am to 4pm. On Friday, the school finishes at 1pm. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I have classes by myself all day.

Until today, I had classes only older ages between 10 to 15 years old. But today, I could be in Kindergarden class for 2 hours for the first time.

First of all, I couldn’t understand Spanish terribly and I didn’t understand well what the teachers were saying and honestly I think I wasn’t helpful for them at all. I think I was a kind of a extra big baggage which is like an outsider Asian guy who doesn’t speak Spanish for teachers. I almost feel sorry for them.

But about ages 4, they prefer just talking what they want to talk than asking specific questions. So kids didn’t seem to care about my poor Spanish skill and they appeared to like me, they were hanging me and talking to me a lot. I played tag game, hide and seek and so on with them for almost an hour. I could feel again children are pure and so cute even I am in the outback of Colombia.

Some of the girls seemed to like me so much, and they were cling my legs, arms and my head too.

I truly feel I get better my Spanish quickly and want to understand what they are talking to me. So it’s gonna be much much more fun.

That was so fun and truly happy time to play with them.



From 08/31, I came to a small town called Pital in the district of Columbia’s Huila.

From the capital city of Bogota to the Neiva airport via the domestic flight. Pital is located  in southern Huila, 100 km further from the airport of Nea.
Approximately 3000 people live in this town. There is just 2 schools,  one is public and the other on is private school. This town are surrounded by mountains, and the nearest neighbor town is about 4 km away.

There is no Japanese, Asian people, even tourists are totally rarely visited.

I started to volunteer as a English teacher at the schools in this town.

I got here through the site called “workaway”.

The site called workaway is offering a system which is travellers such as a backpacker who provides a few hours of labor time and receive accommodation and meals for free from hosts.

When I was thinking about various things in Uruguay, I was searching for volunteer offers in Colombia by workaway and found the offer for this occasion.

A Colombian couple who are hosts of me, is a local Colombian English teacher. They want to give an opportunity to talk to English to people who speak English and from other countries for students whose English level is very low and luck of motivation about English, and keep students’ motivation up. The Colombian couple is trying to encourage local students to learn English for their future and country.

Personally, I want to see and learn various national education with this my own. For those my purpose, I thought that this is a very rare opportunity to be a part of member in the local school.

Some people may think volunteer is a kind of meaningful because no pay provided. But It’s really hard to observe a local school without connection in the community or country where you’re going, moreover if you are outsider for the community, that would be harder, because you are unfamiliar and don’t have trust from communities. In case you want to get pay for work at a public school, you would need to take a qualification of a teacher of that country.

In these days, you need to pay a high cost to a organization or management group for applying volunteer work. So this offer which is accommodation and meals provided is a quite lucky opportunity, I think.