It has been a challenging year! –Thought I was going to die in the earthquake, then nuclear fallout, and last but not least, the challenge of raising two teenagers! It is all relative though.
There is always someone worse off than you and to be happy we need to think of others, that is the way.
Life is so, so very short.
I want to leave my mark with my heart not my wallet.
Maybe that is why I am a teacher.
It certainly isn`t for the money! I feel I am making a difference. I am planting seeds, and every so often, someone usually out of the blue, astounds me with some affirming statement to the effect that I have made a huge difference in their lives, the lives of their sons or daughters or a grandchild.
It reminds me of the importance of all that we do. It makes me feel glad to be a teacher.
Teachers are blessed. We have succeeded in work that serves people. We have an opportunity to touch many people, to not only teach English, but to be a good example of what a man or woman can be.
We can represent our country well, and for Japanese, give a good impression of non-Japanese (foreigners) for the Japanese students. All of this is BIG stuff! It is important.
Japan is slowly changing and there are rumors that immigration will be a big part of Japan`s immediate future. The floodgates may be opening with the latest announcement of the IC chip gaikokujin toroku shomeisho cards. Our job will be even more important to help Japanese adjust to a new influx of non-Japanese.
If you go to teacher`s workshops at JALT or ETJ, few emphasize the importance of ALL that we do. Not just the particular method that they espouse during the workshop but the whole gamut of things that teachers do, from listening to students` worries, acting like a friend at times, a trusted advisor, a parent figure, and a Sensei.
We have a wonderful opportunity to not only serve Japanese but mankind. It really is a privilege.