English Classroom Sustainability is about Caring and Teaching
“English classroom sustainability” does seem like an odd title, doesn’t it? And yet here at Smith’s School of English we know a lot about sustainability and love to teach it. I myself love this concept so much that at the age of 57, I went the Unversity of Cumbria, U.K., and graduated MBA LS. (Master of Business Administration Leadership Sustainability). As an educational organization, we support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
One of my favorite books is Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
Within this book, we read, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.” Incredible words about studying and sharing. I try to follow these words by acquiring knowledge, living a sustainable life myself, and then lecturing about the realms of sustainability.
Here at Smith’s School of English, we love to study, acquire knowledge and teach.
Teaching means we have to keep our schools open. Since 1996, our group of teachers and staff have maintained the sustainability of our service, throughout several crisis periods. Earthquakes, Typhoons, Tidal Waves, and now most recently a Global Pandemic have all put us to the test.
How do we manage to keep our English classrooms open throughout all of these challenges?
It is simple. We care for our students and genuinely want to help every student master the language. We care for each other as teachers and staff members of Smith’s School of English organization. WE care for Japan as she has been so good to us all since 1996. Finally, we care for the world in general. And you know what, we talk about this a lot, in English, in our classrooms.
Classroom Sustainability through Caring
We believe a sustainable life depends on caring. Each of us wants to enjoy a meaningful life and I have always felt caring and giving are both great ways to feel good about myself. Yes, that’s right, I believe sustainability is all about feeling good while caring and giving. Why? Well, anything that feels good is much easier to do for a long time, than anything that feels bad. Whenever I do something caring, I receive an instant gift within my own spirit. I do not seek this gift. It just happens.
At Smith’s FC schools, the teachers continue to show their care in many different ways.
We organize fun events for our students, friends, and families. For example, at Smith’s Ohtsu, Edward and Chiharu have been hosting a free monthly event called Breakfast Club since 2008! They invite students and friends to join them and have casual chats over tea, coffee, and snacks. Important to realize, even during this pandemic, they keep hosting this event on Zoom 🙂
English Classroom Sustainability through Teaching Sustainability
Smith’s Ohtsu teacher Edward is a person who believes deeply in sustainability.
His daily life is all about it. The topics of conversation in his classroom are often about how much he enjoys riding his bicycle to school and around lake Biwa, doing some volunteer work in his community, and taking care of his family and students with love. Sustainability through health, service and through love. And thankfully for all of us, sustainability through teaching. Have a read through his short blog on downsizing.
Our teachers all have unique interests and styles of enjoying sustainable life and offer such fun topics of conversations in their English classrooms. Smith’s Sagamihara Jim shares his love of music with his community and volunteers to help with a children’s band program. Would you like to read about it?
English Classrooms Sustainability through Preventative Measures
Important to mention, we make sure that our English classrooms are clean, nicely ventilated, and safe.
One of the key ingredients in learning a new language successfully is for us to feel relaxed and comfortable while trying to speak. With a view to state sustainable English Classrooms, we implemented 6 preventative measures against COVID-19 immediately after the first outbreak in 2020. I am confident to say that our students feel comfortable taking lessons in our English classrooms.
English Classroom Sustainability through Fitness
Classroom Sustainability depends upon healthy teachers.
As a group, I am sure that all of our teachers, who are the core of Smith’s School of English, pay close attention to their own health and that of their students. Smith’s Tsukaguchi teacher Derek cares a lot about fitness and loves to share valuable thoughts on fitness in his classroom. Derek believes that maintaining a sustainable English classroom is all about mental and physical health. Derek actually wrote a blog about this subject. Perhaps you would like to read his blog?
English Classroom Sustainability through Karma
Today we see many attempts to encourage humans to be more sustainable.
There is a lot of debate about how we should all be more sustainable. And yet, the Buddhists have been teaching Karma for a very long time. Of course, I don’t claim to know a lot about Buddhism and only have a basic understanding of Karma, but I like what I think I know.
What I think I know is that Karma is based on our actions. Bad actions bring bad things. Good actions bring good things. For this, I believe that if I care for others, life will care for me. And I find this belief, for me, is easily sustainable for a lifetime. As a matter of fact, this subject always comes up as a focus of attention whenever I am in a position to teach. So I do hope this little blog post gives us something to think about.
Let’s be sustainable by caring. Caring for each other and for our planet. This caring way of being has kept our Smith’s School of English classrooms open since 1996. Caring is a powerful friend.
Mark Smith MBA LS