No classes today – so I made an English newsletter for my students

YadaYadaAdmin Newsletters 25 Comments

ALTs often have a lot of free time at school. Today was such a day for me – because of end-of-the-term scheduling, I had no classes to teach today.

It’s funny to think that someone would complain about having free time at a job, but I understand and empathize with new ALTs who grumble about not having anything to do.

I’m lucky since I always seem to have stuff to do, and I keep myself busy with many ongoing projects at my schools. But I too struggled my first year as an ALT, wondering what I should be doing when I have no classes.

One thing I came up with is a variation on the newsletter you see me discuss in this video. I’ve made all kinds of newsletters for my students over the year, addressing a variety of topics and including everything from games and puzzles to art projects and brain teasers and contests and interviews with their teachers, etc, etc.

As I mention in the vid, I used to work in advertising, and the process of sitting down with a blank sheet of paper and designing the layout and finding the right balance of materials, graphics and text appeals to me, and I really enjoy making these when I have time.

Anyway – I hope some of you find it useful.


Duration : 0:8:6

[youtube GbnTy0yYkbg]

Comments 25

  1. myargonauts

    Since we usually …
    Since we usually have a whole class write poems, etc, I often take the best ones and put them on my English Board display, so yeah, I like to use their stuff too.

  2. myargonauts

    Yeah – I do a whole …
    Yeah – I do a whole slideshow in some classes about celebrating the holidays in America. They also like to know about how many presents you get and what kind of gifts, etc.

  3. myargonauts

    I found it among …
    I found it among some materials left behind by a previous ALT at my school. She had clipped out an article from a 1996 Japanese/English newspaper.

  4. stufflikethat

    Where did you find …
    Where did you find the Japanese translation for “The Christmas Song”? Also, thank you for NOT choosing Wham’s “Last Christmas” for the song in your newsletter 😛

  5. o0HoneyBee0o

    That’s cool! It …
    That’s cool! It kind of reminds me of how we did little things like that in Spanish class at school. Do any of your students ever ask about what their western counter parts do for the holidays?

  6. saltyfrog75

    Do you ever make a …
    Do you ever make a newsletter where you “publish” things the kids have written? Like haikus written in English, for example. I used to run an after-school program and the kids loved to see their poetry/stories/drawings in the newsletter I made.

  7. ensortion

    :O wow, street …
    :O wow, street parades? cool :) We have street parades in my hometown only for war remembrance days (Remembrance Day, Anzac Day, Australia Day) and when our army troops come back from touring overseas (it’s a military base town)but never for New Years :( me=jealous of Scotland lol

  8. myargonauts

    most of em think …
    most of em think that Xmas is Santa’s birthday, so I guess we should start there first… :)

  9. myargonauts

    With my English …
    With my English newsletter?? Ummm….no. :)
    I’m not selling it to the students – i give it away for free. 😀

  10. JimNasium123

    Something I’ve …
    Something I’ve always wondered here, will you have any trouble with copyright laws there? I can just see the lawsuits coming with Spongebob and Stitch on there if it was back home

  11. OnMyWay2TokyoU

    This will help me …
    This will help me when i go to japan, i know, its like the socity, so thanks.

  12. myargonauts

    Well… I used to …
    Well… I used to celebrate it when I was a kid, but after becoming at atheist as an adult, and especially after coming to Japan, where December 25th is just another day, I’ve decided to stop partaking in the ritual and just enjoy the good vibes of the holiday. I’ll always be nostalgic for certain elements of Christmas.

  13. myargonauts

    I very much doubt …
    I very much doubt rural Japanese kids would know anything about it, so that’s another reason why the JET Programme is so cool – you can share your culture with kids who are generally very eager to learn.

  14. myargonauts

    Yeah – I …

    Yeah – I can’t help the kids that would just see the newsletter and throw it away. I try to concentrate my time and effort of the kids who want to learn. But I do get my own satisfaction just making it. :)

  15. myargonauts

    yeah – I had a …
    yeah – I had a semi-professional presentation lesson last Saturday and felt I should be clean shaven – but soon will be the annual Fuyu Yasumi beard growth! :)

  16. myargonauts

    yeah – sometimes …
    yeah – sometimes they do cover artwork for me, or once I had some of my advanced students interview their teachers and we wrote it up in Japanese and English. I also run contests where they have to do something English related to win a prize.

  17. elginbabe

    yes, its the Gaelic …
    yes, its the Gaelic name. And it’s a massive deal here. Huge street parties and festivities

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