A week before the Obon break, one of the students at my Smith’s School of English Fukushima franchise in Osaka was having a little difficulty with one of the 1-points in the B-section: When I was ______ years old, I wanted to ______ but I couldn’t because ______ . Well, after modeling a few personal examples to her delight, I assigned it as a little homework and she promised to give it some thought.
Was I ever moved by what she had come up with! She presented to me twenty-five sentences, one for each of the last twently-five years of her life, all carefully and chronologically written in her notebook. She was very thoughtful and sincere in her work, not only about the lesson and the English contained in it, but about her own past life and apparently her somewhat unclear future.
So I saw a wonderful opportunity to expand this worthy exercise into something even more meaningful. The new homework now reads: When I am ______ years old, I want to ______ because ______. This exercise displays a genuine care for the student and her personal life. She has become eager to share her private thoughts with me, and thus in the next lesson after the break she will no doubt move me greatly with her deep reflections, worries, dreams and insights. This student makes my job an absolute joy!