Days I spent with NUS students
- Participating in the Young Japanese Lecturer Dispatch Programme by the Japan Foundation
Contributed in May, 2009

“Impossible”, “I cannot write”, ”I will not make it in time” were screams I let out as I stayed up all night trying to complete my teaching plans during my first semester in school. Things turned out sweeter in the second semester and I began to love going for classes.

In the past, there was little satisfaction gained even after drawing up my teaching plans, but now I genuinely enjoy teaching. This growth in me is entirely attributed to my colleague-teachers who supervised and guided me and of course, my students played a large part, too.

I spent more time preparing quality lessons as my students always prepared, reviewed and completed their assignments before attending my lesson. This motivated me to expand my teaching skills. Particularly in the second semester, I noticed my improved teaching skills while teaching. I also felt more at ease during classes and really enjoyed teaching.

My students were always cooperative and nice, trying their best to respond to me with smiling faces. At times when my demonstrations were not “successful”, students who understood the lessons took the initiative to explain to the others who could not. Although I was not a “perfect” teacher compared to other experienced teachers, but I can say that I faced my students with sincerity. By doing that, I wished that through me, they would grow to appreciate Japan more than before….. Then, I believe that the time they had spent with me was not wasted.

Spending time with my students also reminded me of things I had forgotten. My students are “honest” and “flexible” to learn and embrace others and new things. Personally, I had forgotten some of these qualities after I entered the working world. This, I believe, narrowed my views. My experience at NUS taught me that “skills”, “knowledge” and ”humanity” are the most important elements a teacher should possess. From now on, I will strive to enhance my “skills” and “knowledge”, as I continue to meet various people along the way, experience many things and hone my “humanity” to be someone who can embraces and not denies. Also, I hope to channel my experience in Singapore to contribute to both societies.

Although I will be apart from my students as my tenure is coming to an end, many fond memories remain in my mind, such as once when a student opened the door vigorously and stepped into the classroom, exclaiming, “Teacher! Yesterday, I slept! Today, I am very, very fine!!”, a student who always arrived in class before everyone else and another who gave me a letter on my last day at school….. Each one of them remains deep in my heart. Thank you, everyone!!

Finally, I am thankful to everyone who enabled me to participate in this programme to gain such a precious experience at NUS.