Passionate learning 青い目の熱血授業

Vol.3

Imagine you are a manager in a huge company. You are completely responsible for the training and successful performance of your staff of over 200 people. Imagine, too, that you are required to keep detailed records on each and every one of your staff, and then you are also required to issue a comprehensive, detailed report on each of your staff 3 times per year. But this data collection and report on every staff member is NOT your primary job. Your primary job is to train, oversee, discipline, and provide leadership that includes teaching them ethically, and socially responsible behavior. Now, imagine that you have NO assistant, and NO secretary to assist you in the keeping of data, records, and issuing reports for those 200 people, but rather you have to do all that work alone. Plus, the future of the company is directly connected to the successful completion of your duties. That is a high school teacher's job.

I come from a business background, and I know of no manager, supervisor, COO, CFO, CEO, Vice President, or President that would take on such a job with no assistants, and certainly never take the job with no secretary. Yet, this is what Japan's teachers do. Why? I have asked many teachers why they love the job, and there is a common theme throughout each answer. It is connected to the idea of teaching, directing, then seeing students suddenly sparkle with joy when they understand a new concept, or successfully complete an experiment or task. It is connected to the moral imperative teachers seldom talk about, that they are helping Japan's future - the students - mature and grow into being responsible, creative and productive adults ready to contribute to society and to the world.

We have had the great honor over the last 10 years of working with and for Japan's teachers. We have witnessed their dedication to their students. We have seen the hours and hours of their own time they are willing sacrifice to help their students. The teachers create something special that is the foundation of all learning. The teachers create a positive, nurturing, learning environment in which the students know in their hearts that their school is a safe place to ask questions, to make guesses, and to, most importantly, make mistakes. The teachers understand that each student needs that positive, safe environment, particularly during the tremendous physical, emotional and intellectual evolution the student experiences transforming from child to adult.

How can we help those responsible for Japan's future? What can we do to help the teachers? Here are a few ideas:

  • 1. We could employ retired teachers as assistants to teachers.
  • 2. We could require a work/study program for university students to aid the teachers.
  • 3. With the decrease in birth rates, the number of students are decreasing, so should the ratio of students per teacher. We all know that a private lesson is much more effective to learning, and reducing the number of students per each class, will allow the teachers to invest more time in each student.
  • 4. Business and sports have shown us that training is an ongoing, never-ending process. We must offer continued training for our teachers so they can continue to better themselves as teachers, and offer more effective and efficient classes for the students.

Teachers are the key to Japan's future, and the future looks bright. We will continue to do everything we can to assist and support this most valuable of Japan's assets - the teachers - and thereby contribute to a quality future for Japan, and for the world.