Just last month I turned 36…it’s precisely this age that my father decided to take a job in the Philippines that would forever change our lives and eventually bring me to where I am today. As such I thought it might be a good time for me to take stock of just what I have done in the first third of my economic life.
After graduating from university I was faced with a tough decision – come to Japan to work or attend Grad School in Australia. I was leaning toward the latter but hadn’t heard from the admissions office and decided to start my career in the role of a teacher. I came to Japan in 1997 and have been here ever since. I started off working at a small, but growing, school in my area. It was a great place to get started, I was lucky enough to receive some great training and learnt about teaching kids which has proven to be invaluable. In fact, I suppose that is what lead me to develop my own set of materials for kids which I believe is one of the most comprehensive one out there.
But I decided that my future lay elsewhere and chose to join Smith’s in 2000 which will make this Nov my 10th anniversary…whohoo. Hard to believe it but I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve been able to grow despite seeing so many businesses close around me, ranging from English schools to restaurants. Not only did working at Smith’s 英会話 Hirakata provide me with the opportunity to create a kids’ system but also it gave me the chance to meet some fabulous dedicated students that inspire me each and every day. Beyond that I took up photography and have managed to take some amazing pics with my two Nikons, I also learnt magic and became a decent amateur (of which I devoted 2 hours a day for an entire year) and now I am putting the finishing touches on my first book which I showed to my wife for the first time today as I had been keeping it under wraps and she was quite impressed (of which I devoted the last year and a half to). Also over the past 4 years I have managed to read about 150 books on the study of success and philosophy not to mention listen to about a hundred audio sessions on the same topic.
I am living the lifestyles of the rich and famous? Not quite yet but I feel that I have grown as both an individual, a teacher, a husband, a businessman and now a father. While 13 years have passed since I first started teaching English I am proud to say that I have used my time well because I never gave up. Each of my endeavors – the kids’ system, magic, studying, my book – took a serious commitment of time, energy and sometimes money but I knew what I wanted and just kept at it till I had a tangible result. Success is not about some sort of quick-fix but rather one of dedication and perseverance. Each time my students come in and we go over their homework I am reminded of this fact. It’s not where we start that makes the difference, it’s whether you’ll stay in the game.
For anyone who has a dream, keep at it. It’s amazing just how much we can accomplish with a little elbow grease.
ps. Most of the time I like to talk about my experiences as a teacher and my take on things but in the weeks to come I will introduce you to some of the students that have inspired me to become who I am today.