I presented five sessions in one day to 140 students at a high school. I really enjoyed the experience and learnt a lot, and I loved the students!
The tight schedule of repeating 50-minute sessions five times from 8.50 am to 14.30 pm was really exhausting. That day, I woke up 4.30 and left my place 6.30. It took me one and half hours to get to the school. Soon after I got to my classroom, the students came into the room and, without a moment to calm my nerves, I started talking. The session was repeated four times in the morning and once after lunch.
In the morning, the students were very lively and active, and they looked like they enjoyed participating. The school also provided me with lunch at the high-school canteen, which was a nice experience!
In the afternoon, the students obviously looked tired and sleepy. It was quite understandable because they had already had four sessions non-stop in the morning. I was very tired as well. So, the last session proved to be the hardest one in which to get their attention and get them involved in the content.
In the end, I felt happy to see their smiles and curiosity. Food and anime were the most favoured among all of the topics. Some students spoke to me after my session to show me their comic drawing work! They gave me a piece of their picture with their signature and a short comment ‘Thank you!’.
I found a lot of things I need to improve. I used less PowerPoint slides but talked too much. My session was almost non-stop talking for 50 minutes. I should have made more activities and shown plenty of pictures. On reflection, some of the topics I showed to them were very serious: plate boundaries that cause earthquakes, Hiroshima as the first city targeted by a nuclear weapon, and climate features. I should have included more amusing topics that attract students and make them feel like going to Japan, than educational topics.
Personally, I really had a great experience, and I hope to get another opportunity again in the future!