Well, It’s been over a month since I took over the franchise of Smith’s School of English , Kawanishi, so maybe it’s time to take a deep breath and reflect on how it’s been. Much has been new and slightly strange to me: spending much time in a town I had not heard of not so long ago; suddenly the freedom of being my own boss, not subject to the whims of the owners of a school; working very long days from the early “flyer” shift to the last evening class. I have had much support from other franchise owners, especially Derek of Smith’s School of English, Tsukaguchi, from Mark Smith and all the staff at Kyobashi, but what has really given me a lift when one was needed has been… my student body. I could not have imagined what a delightful group of people I would find myself teaching, and I really look forward to my lessons. I find that the time that I spend teaching is very enjoyable, and gives me a lot of energy. They are not only a great bunch of people of many different ages, but also very interesting with a wide range of work and personal interests.
I also find the Smith’s system of not being tied down to “teaching a book”, as I have been before, has allowed me to adapt my teaching style to the students’ different personalities and needs. This has made our lessons more interesting and enjoyable, and I hope is of greater benefit to the students than learning a book by heart.