Quite often at Smith’s School of English Kyobashi, I find myself serving as both a teacher and confidante to the variety of students that attend classes on a regular basis. Aside from the new friendly faces of students who have recently joined Smith’s School of English Kyobashi, there are the familiar ones that I look forward to meeting in their regular time slots everyday. The atmosphere at the Kyboashi school is very relaxed and casual, especially in the lounge area where the teachers and students are mingling over a cup of hot tea. Even in the classrooms where the mood is geared for learning, the students are still free to express themselves by sharing their ideas or opinions. This makes for a very cozy environment where there’s a lot of trust and familiarity.
In a previous school where I worked, this comfortable workplace which I enjoy now was something of an illusion. There would be meetings between teachers to discuss ways of improving the curriculum or sales ratios but nothing concerning student welfare. At Smith’s, we are constantly thinking of the students’ welfare, as well as the teachers’, and are welcome to voice our opinions quite openly. I have no doubt that the students can sense our positive attitudes towards them, thereby allowing us to build a repertoire with them that stretches beyond the school’s front door.
It still surprises me when a student whom I’ve known for a while shares a secret with me or asks me for advice. This advice can range from ways to improve their English-learning to whether or not they should give a box of chocolates to a co-worker whom they admire. Having the privilege of being on such intimate terms with the students is extremely rewarding and does wonders to boost my positive energy. This enables me to greet students coming in at 9PM with the same excitement and anticipation as the ones that I run into at 3PM.