Nearing the completion of my third year since coming to Japan to take over an existing school, I can honestly say that it has been well worth it to make this career change. Oh yes, there were hard times in the beginning and I can’t allow myself to drop the quality level of my lessons, because my students deserve the best I can offer. However, it has been a lot of fun so far and I expect that this will continue. Teaching English in Japan is very rewarding. It is exciting to see the gradual improvements in your students’ ability to speak and use English. But it is even more exciting to have the chance to run a small business, to be your own boss and to be able to try things and find out how effective they are to promote your school and add students.
Today, I decided to pass out copies of President Obama’s inaugural address with only my school name, the free-dial phone number and the website address shown. I got a lot of good reactions from this. Many people seemed to be happy to have this to read on train during their commute. I feel that the message that I want to help potential students reach a level where they can read or listen to this speech and simple contact information is all that is needed now-a-days as the Smith’s name is becoming well recognized and comes up fairly easily in a web search. We shall see how effective my idea was in the coming weeks. Wish me luck.
President Obama’s speech has some excellent English that my higher level students can benefit from learning. One example is given in the sentences below:
“What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudging accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task. This is the price and promise of citizenship.”
These sentences are quite inspirational and uplifting. My hope is that words like these will help the American people to escape the funk they are in. Confidence is precious and it is what is so sorely needed now. America is still a great nation of generous people, capable of working hard, inventing and creating a new future that is inclusive and seeks to help all the people of the world. America needs to lead the world by setting an excellent example. I, for one, truly hope that Barack Obama can instill confidence and a positive future vision in the American people. I have put the link below for my students and anyone reading to watch the speech.
Now back to work. The fun continues!
Al, SSE Okamoto