For my CIP, I decide that I would teach English. While interacting with children is not my strong suit, I wanted experience with high schoolers as I was considering applying for the JET program. I also thought it would be a good way to step out of my comfort zone.
I ended up acting as a tutor for some students learning english at the Kyoto Bunkyou High School. A few times a week I would go to the school and meet with a couple of high schoolers. Since the school was only a short subway ride out of the way it was very convenient for me. At first the students were a bit shy, but they slowly warmed up to me. Still I found that I ended up doing a lot of the talking; my throat was pretty sore by the end of the hour. I quickly learned that the best way to get through to the students was to ask open-ended questions. Once I go to know them, they were really sweet. Upon hearing that I liked matcha deserts, one of them bought me a special macha-chocolate cookie and a little stuffed manekineko (lucky cat) as an omiyage.
Once, I ended up speaking to an entire class of students who would soon be going to Australia. Though I had initially anticipated that my job would be something like this, I wasn’t prepared that time and ended up simply awkwardly asking questions up in front of the board. I really wished I had prepared some sort of lesson plan for that time, and changed my mindset to deal with students who’s english was a bit weaker than I was used to.
However, as the semester went on, I found that the school had a lot more breaks and times when the students were too busy to have conversation with me. I would definitely recommend having a back-up plan for your CIP. Even if it seems to be going well at first, things can change.