Every month, after his second lesson, I give him the envelope. He always pulls out the cash, and I always say, “you don’t need to pay me today,” but he always does. As he was putting his tuition into the envelope, I looked at his attendance sheet. He was marking off five years as a “man to man” student with me. I showed him his attendance sheet, and said “you have been with me for five years, why?” He doesn’t need English for his job, he doesn’t travel outside of Japan. He said “because I like it.” Then I showed him page one of his attendance sheet, pointing to the date of his first lesson, and said “on this day, you couldn’t say ‘my name is Hara, I live in…,’ etc.,” and we just had an intelligent conversation about China! He was delighted, and so was I. I thanked this private student for staying with me for so long, and of course he thanked me. Very satisfying indeed, for both of us. Thank you Mr. Hara!
I have a few students like Mr. Hara and I love ’em. They energize me and they are inspirational to other students. Any time you can say to a student “When you started studying at this school, you couldn’t introduce yourself, and now you can have full conversations”, you know you have done a good job, as well as the student. Tell Mr. Hara I said “Great Job- keep it up!”.