Yesterday was my usual busy Saturday….7 straight lessons! In the middle of my busy teaching schedule, one of my man-to-man (private) students told me that she felt I must be a very rare English teacher in Japan since I have so much international business experience.
Having worked in Japan for a large Japanese electronics manufacturer for 6 years and in the US for 20 years for three large Japanese electronics companies as an engineer, a manager and as a senior manager before deciding to change my career and operate and teach at my own English school in Japan, I guess I may be quite rare. My student commented that most English teachers now in Japan, have no other job experience before they start teaching. The big corporate schools recruit young university graduates, so it is true that few have much real-life business experience to draw from although they are young, energetic and should be well educated as most are recent university graduates.
It was nice to hear her comments. She had just spent a few minutes looking at my US patent plaque on the wall in my school before her lesson started. I told her that my previous company, Oki Electric, had been very aggressive to promote the generation of patent ideas by engineers and managers. I was able to get four patents while working for OKI and one while I was with Alpine Electronics . OKI paid us well for our ideas. My student, who is a lawyer, was quite impressed. I guess it is interesting to find your name when you do a Yahoo or Google search. In my case that search must be done using “Alden Bartle” which includes my full first name. Search on Yahoo: Alden Bartle Search result on Google: Alden Bartle
My student now wants me to work with her to learn language for contracts and negotiation. During my time with Alpine Electronics I traveled extensively between the US, Germany, Japan and China and was often involved in negotiations with key European automotive customers. That experience does seem to be paying off even when I teach English.
It is quite nice to get compliments like this from my students. It makes me want to keep on teaching and building my school! It is truly a rewarding experience everyday!
Al Bartle (Smith’s School of English – Okamoto)