I always got amazed on how teachers could have so much influence on us. I remember I wrote about a teacher called Mas GG back then at Atma Jaya and how i was fascinated by his passion of teaching, how he found happiness and joy in teaching his students, and how he treated us as equal, as colleagues and as students.
Never did i thought i will also be fascinated by a sensei here in Japan. I have seen my senseis‘ passions here in Japan. How they worked so hard to make everything is easily understood by us, who really, are beginners in learning Japanese. I have seen them downloading Portuguese dictionary to help student who does not speak English so well and I have seen them inviting a native speaker of Portuguese from the higher level to help in class. I have seen them using so many pictures and easy summary, flashcards and tools to teach. I have seen them tried their best to create a fun activity that makes it possible for us to interact with native Japanese students in classes. I have seen them patiently listen to our messed up grammar and weird pronunciation. I have seen them listening eagerly to our stories in classes, even tough we always had problems in explaining things, mostly because we don’t know the words, or we do know the words but we just dont know how to put them together in a sentence.
Today, I saw a side of a sensei that surprised me so much, a side of him that I never thought I would ever seen. It was to discover that maybe, all this time I have been looking at my teachers, all of them, in Indonesia and in Japan, with only one eye. 🙂
Turns out that them, being a teacher, being a sensei somehow always have their way to connect with you, to touch you, to teach you, and that by choosing to teach, they have given their all for the sake of their students.
I am amazed to see that through my education years, formally and informally, I have met the teachers that have taught me from their heart. Teachers who found that their student is as important as their choice of job for living. Teachers who found happiness and joy in listening to their students, in watching they grew smarter, and in advising them to be a better person.
Today, one of my sensei here in Japan surprised me by his wide knowledge of another cultures as well as his deep understanding of his students’ condition. Being a ryuugakusei, or a foreign student, you got all the fun, but you dont miss all the flaws and hardship you have to endure. It was all in one package and by receiving all the exciting things and advantages you could get, you were also sworn to take the down side respectfully, with a high sense of responsibility. I was kinda surprised because somehow he acknowledged the condition in my dorm, which was really really strict, controlling and limiting you acting as your own self, that as a very normal person you would most likely first react with refusal, anger, and too many ‘whys’ and ‘they cant do thats’ in your mind.
it is not like it was THAT bad in the dorm. Everything is nice as long as you understand that you have to give yourself time to adjust and give other people time too, to adjust with you. New things never got easier, seriously. But when the adjustment things are through, as long as you stay true to yourself while learning the important values of living together, then you’re gonna be all right.
This sensei, somehow pointed out to me things that I did not see before. He did not pick side, neither ‘foreign students’ side nor ‘the dorm’s’ side, yet he tried to show me what he thought was wrong, where the problem really rooted from.
He also shared his views of teachings, how he perceived students and how he sees himself as a teacher. In classes, we usually do all the talks and he would correct us when we do mistakes or help us when we are struggling with grammars and vocabularies. He let us speak so often and I rarely heard him speak about himself or his thoughts. But today I listened a lot to his thoughts, his interest, his experience, some of his habits, and his points of view. It was really amazing, concerning that being a teacher he knows the basic things of me and my classmates since all we do is talk about ourselves, our experiences and things in our home countries, but me and the others rarely know things about his life, beside his full name and that he ever taught in a university in Singapore for around 8 years. I dont even know where did he live or how he get to the university until yesterday!
From our rather long but easy chat yesterday, I learned a lot of things. I began to see that he really love to teach, more than I ever realized. I also see that he put a lot of attention to his students, even into little things that I did not even remember I tell him in classes.
His insights and his determination somehow makes me reflects back on those teachers I have ever had through my life. And truly, they inspired me. Inspired me to be a better person, inspired me to have the same determination, the same passion, the same attention in everything I do. Right now I am not at all thinking of being a teacher, for I think I need to experience more and more and more first before I could consider myself as one, but seriously, I would be happy to give my all to things that I really want to do, just like they give their all to teach.
Ever since I came to Japan, I often complaint on so many things. Things that are not working as I want them to, things that are different, things that in my opinion is not good at all and things that somehow make it harder to live in Japan. But because of this particular sensei‘s insight I realized that in living my life in Japan, I havent yet give it my all. I havent yet do my best and I havent yet work the hardest.
I havent yet put my passion, my determination in learning the language and completing the dream I’ve been chasing all this years. This is just halfway and I havent give it my all.
From now on, I want to live to even happier in Japan. I want to see things from a different side. I want to give it my all, to feel more thankful and to enjoy my time here, to fill it with my best memories and to learn things more and more.
By the waym I got a feeling that maybe, just maybe, there are other teachers that are also passionate, determined, and nice in KANDA, but maybe I just havent got the chance to know that ‘side’ of those teachers, since they have been act so unselfishly that their students become their first priority.
There are still a lot of things in my mind but Kanji books began to scream to me to start studying since I got this test tomorrow and I haven’t memorize anything. 😀
I was about to complaint, but, well, I have promised i will try my best first!
I think this is also what my father wants me to do. 🙂
I’ll catch ya all very soon folks.
Kisses from the stars!
Hug your loved ones tonight. 😀