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The Adventures of Zeb: JETAARM's Pika Mascot

Upcoming JETAARM Events

JLPT Study Group
The first JLPT study groups of 2020 will be on January 11th, and 25th at
Stella's Coffee in Denver.
Bring your books, flashcards, and kanji knowledge! 

All-Chapter Breckenridge Trip 2020

Join JETAARM the weekend of April 3rd, 2020 for an all-chapter winter weekend getaway in historic Breckenridge! We'll have some fun in the snow while building stronger JET alumni connections. We've booked a private mountain house, with easy access to both the historic mountain town and the ski resort. Join us on the slopes, or enjoy a plethora of other mountain activities like tubing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. In the evenings we'll explore the quaint town of Breckenridge and it's various restaurants, breweries, and shops! And it wouldn't be a JETAA event without some Japanese flavor, so we'll also have nabe and curry dinners provided by JETAARM.

Over half of our beds have already been booked!
Purchase your spot ASAP so you don't miss out on this epic vacation!

Upcoming Community Events
JASC Kaiwa Club

The Japan America Society of Colorado hosts a bi-weekly gathering for native and non-native Japanese speakers to use their language skills in a relaxed space. If you want to brush up on your Japanese, or just chat with people who love the language as much as you this is the place for you!

Kaiwa club meets from 9:30am to 10:30am at
Broadway Market in Denver. They will be meeting in January on the 11th and the 25th. Keep up-to-date with information on the Kaiwa Club Meetup group:
Recap: Nengajo Event

With all of the holiday festivities occurring throughout the Rocky Mountain Region, JETAARM was proud to host our annual Nengajo New Year’s Traditions Workshop again here at the end of 2019. This year, we worked heavily with Broomfield Ueda Sister Cities and hosted a diverse range of fellow Rocky Mountain Region folks interested in Japan: residents of Broomfield, Colorado, members of the Japan America Society of Colorado (JASC), in addition to our own JET alumni. Tracey Petruff, a Rocky Mountain JET alum and art teacher, led our workshop while Junko Goodwin with Broomfield Ueda Sister Cities informed of us all the common New Year’s traditions in Japan and provided the event with delicious New Year’s foods! It was a wonderful gathering of our Rocky Mountain Japan-affiliated community as everyone busily made nengajo, New Year’s cards, stamped with Tracey’s beautiful artwork depicting The Rat, the zodiac animal for the 2020 new year! Kids also enjoyed trying the yummy foods and reading kamishibai, New Year’s storytelling. In addition, we were able to raise over $300 in funds to send to Ueda, Nagano to support them in rebuilding after Typhoon Hagibis hit in October 2019! Thank you too all helped put on this great event and for the support of our Japan-related organizations, Broomfield Sister Cities and JASC! And happy New Years from JETAARM! あけましておめでとうございます!

Kim McMillen (Treasurer, JETAARM)

Alumni Spotlight
Do you know a standout alumni in our community who deserves recognition? Let us know! We would like to celebrate the successes of our community with a shout out every month! Send nominations to:
Current JET Spotlight: John Francis

New JET John Francis writes from Tottori-shi in Tottori Prefecture about his experience getting his students to open up in class:

A genki “Good morning class!” will generally be met with silence when one first starts teaching, but after a few months most students will quietly mumble “good morning” in response. It is important to note that some students might not ever say anything at all, and sadly these are the students that often get overlooked when we are teaching.
Alex Rickert, a former ALT, in a humorous blog post about types of students ALTs encounter in Japan described these students as “background kids”. These are the students that don’t generally participate and do such a good job at being quiet that they can be missed entirely.
After reading this blog post, I made it a goal to not have any “background kids” in my classes. It is easier said than done with over five hundred students across the various sections I teach; however, it’s worth the effort. Showing one cares helps to build connections that allow students to feel comfortable and start to blossom.
I first asked for a school roster with pictures and then also got seating charts for each of my classes with student names written in hiragana (because let’s face it - most of us can’t read kanji). I then did student surveys to see what students' hobbies and interests were. Building on this, I started to make connections.
One student stands out and I would like to share the story of his growth here. When I first met him, he never said anything in class. Later I found out it was because he wasn’t confident in English, but as time progressed, I could tell he really wanted to speak, but couldn’t find the words. After some time, he non-verbally gestured to me about my watch (which he wanted to see because he is interested in fashion). Later he started helping me erase the whiteboard. We made a game out of it. While I set would set up the PowerPoint he would erase the board and try to cover my mouse as I would navigate on the screen. After a few weeks of these little moments I called on him to answer a question… and instead of getting shy, he proudly answered.
It was a special moment for me because I knew not only had he worked hard, but also because I got to see what one might consider a “background kid” blossom into a participating student. The main thing ALTs need to remember is that all students can speak English given the right tools and the right amount of love.


Have Something to Share?
Feel free to reach out to us by email or on Facebook! This space is open to all - if you have an idea, an essay, a review, an amazing photo, or anything else you want to put out there send it on to!
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JETAA Rocky Mountain · 1550 Larimer St. Box # 464 · Denver, Co 80239 · USA

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