We have several families who’ve joined our school. Sometimes they join together, but often they stagger it.
Our first family joined the first month we were open, 3 years ago. The husband dropped by one evening and rang the bell without an appointment. At that time we had hardly any students, so I was free to accommodate an immediate trial lesson. All went well, and we hit it off. He joined that evening, excited about coming back for his first official lesson. The next evening the bell rang again. This time it was his college-age daughter. She signed man-to-man (despite our empty schedule) and it has been a joy to see her cheery smile every week since!
A couple of months later, the man’s wife joined, and they now study together, which has been an excellent way for them to enjoy learning as a hobby and to meet new friends. They also encourage each other. They’ve recently just gotten their 4th new envelope for monthly tuition, which means they are starting their 4th year with us.
We always feel grateful to our students, but particularly so with families who have been with us for so long. We’ve had many opportunities to go out with this particular family, and have enjoyed several meals at local family-run establishments (Izakayas, which are basically Japanese-style pubs). We have even taken a daytrip together out into the mountains in Yamanashi prefecture. We always look forward to their lessons and greatly enjoy the fact that we are neighbors. We feel part of their community.
Other families at our school include:
– A mother who soonafter brought her daughter to join (man-to-man), and a couple of years later enrolled her son (also man-to-man)
– Another woman who was introduced by the kind lady above with whom she studies, who has recently brought her daughter in to study (man-to-man)
– Two young couples, the same ages as my husband and I
– Two older couples, one in their 50’s and one in their 60’s (both wanting to travel overseas)
– A mother and daugher
– Two mothers and sons
That’s a lot of business from a few families, and we do sincerely appreciate it. But moreover, it’s a great many opportunities to really get to know them and feel a part of their community, which is much more rewarding than the money. That community feeling is one of the biggest reasons we love what we do. There has simply been no equivalent in my experience in Canada. We will miss it one day.