school facilities of public junior high schools in Japan are
fairly comparable to those in the United States. The maintenance
and handling of these rooms and facilities, however, are very
There are always two main entrances
to the main school building: a teachers' entrance and a student
entrance. Both have a place to change shoes. To the right is
the shoe-changing area for the students. Each student has two
pairs of shoes. One for when he/she is walking outside, and
another for anyplace inside a building. There may also be special
places in the school that the students and teachers are required
to take off their shoes and put on school slippers. This keeps
the floors quite a bit cleaner than they would be normally.
Japan, each teacher does not base himself/herself in a single
classroom. Their desk, books and papers are all in a collective
"teachers' room". It is the teachers who switch classes.
Each class of students remain in the same classroom for the
entire year. They each have their own desks and students take
lessons together from the same teacher. The teachers' room is
not anything like a "teachers' lounge" as you might
see in the United States. It is a very large room and all the
teachers' desks are arranged into blocks by teachers who teach
the same grade. It is not locked or private by any means. There
are usually two large sliding doors opening into the teachers'
room and students may enter, with a polite greeting of excuse,
anytime there is not a teachers' meeting going on. The teachers'
room resembles a fire hazard cluttered with desks.
A very typical
|There can be one to three
buildings which house the actual classrooms, which are usually
assigned by grade. Other rooms that can be found in the buildings
include an audio/visual room, a computer room and a home-ec
|Outside there is usually
a well-kept courtyard area with shaped bushes or small flowers.
The fields are almost always dirt.
are in charge of keeping the school clean, under the direction
of the teachers. They do a fairly good job. Things area clean,
but not gleaming. One of the drawbacks of not having custodial
engineers at each school is that tasks that need done, such
as painting or scrubbing of soot off of the sides of a building,
go a long time before being done. But I think that making the
students responsible for the cleaning is a good idea; it teaches
them to have some pride in their school.