Two apparently unrelated events happened to me yesterday that really got me thinking about my recent huge changes in life: coming to live in Japan and buying a Smith’s School of English franchised school.
First, I visited Smith’s School of English head office in Kyobashi for an owners’ seminar, where I found the friendliness and support shared between franchisees left me feeling motivated as well as grateful that I was a member of such a great “family”.
Then, in the evening I received a delivery. This was a gift (and a very generous one) from my former volunteer Japanese Teacher at Nishinomia International Association. I was very sad when I had to change teachers after a year’s study, but this is the association’s rule. Miho had been a really wonderful teacher, full of enthusiasm and generosity of spirit. She spent a lot of her time and effort in teaching me about Japanese culture and way of life as well as the language. And she always seemed to give this straight from her heart, not merely as a duty. I was always deepy moved when she shared so much of her family life with me, often bringing me photos to see, and always giving me souvenirs from her various trips. Yet again she touched me with this unexpected gift. This generosity brought to mind the relationships that I have with my students. They also seem to have her spirit of sharing, and touch me often with their gestures and gifts.
So both of these events got me thinking how lucky I am to be living in Japan where people like this have become such an important part of my life. Also, I think of my luck in entering the Smith’s School of English group of franchisees just when I did. Although I enjoyed teaching English part time for a small group of language schools, it had merely been a job for me. Owning my own English school is totally different for me; my students are so special, and the rewards go far beyond money. As I have written before, I have never enjoyed such job satisfaction, and this is because of these students. I know that I was very lucky to approach Mark Smith at just the right time to acquire my own English school, Smith’s School of English, Kawanishi スミス英会話川西校 as a going concern. I also know that, being semi-retired, I would never have had the energy to have attempted opening my own independent school (having had a year of negotiating Japanese bureacracy). Having head office staff there six days a week to act as my native Japanese speaking secretarial and sales staff, I can concentrate on teaching and marketing my school. Nothing more to say.
So franchise was definitely the way for me, and a Smith’s School of English franchise is the best there is. I have not regretted this decision for a moment.