Confessions of High School English Teacher

I am a high school English Teacher in Japan, and that has been causing a lot of troubles to delicate me myself. I truly think that I am often gloomy and active at the same time. I am ok. I am not that serious depressive patient. But you know, I think I am very delicate mainly in a negative way. Why do I started writing from such a depressive way? I don’t know. But anyway from now, I’d like to write about what I think about being a high school English teacher in Japan.

I don’t know much about the notion about being a high school teacher in abroad though, I personally feel like I’m not the person who really, really wanted to be a high school teacher. But my parents somehow wished me to be a high school teacher. Why? because both of my parents are junior high school teachers. My mother as home-economics, my father as Art. My parents are not a good example of good parents. My mother is too strong, and my father is a bit idly. I’m feeling really sorry for quoting this metaphor though, my mother reminds me of Trump, and father reminds me of Biden. You know, I’m not talking about politics but their image or character. So, please don’t misunderstand, but I think I know the both pros and cons. My mother has been scolding my father for nearly 30 years, and my father has been trying to ignore her provocation. Seriously, I have no idea why they got married and I was born.

Anyway, I had grown up looking their backs. They are saying school system sucks, colleague sucks, and the kids and their parents sucks. So, basically on this point, I don’t know why they got the job. But they also said like we are a public workers, so our income is stable and that’s why you can live as a kind of slightly rich rich boy.

Then I became a high school student, and for the first time, I felt my life sucks. Now I think it was all my fault though, I really hated school because there seems no place where I can do my best. I couldn’t play tennis well in the club, and I realized I’m not that smart guy in the high school. Especially, I didn’t like high school teachers. Because they are just boring and they never overestimate me. Of course I was a not that genius boy, but they seems like they tend to like students who get good points on exams or quizzes. Huh. What a boring people they are. That was the time I sweared I will never be a teacher.

Then, I somehow became a university student, and that was a highlight of my lifetime. I was making a lot of friends and unique experiencing in Tokyo, and I finally realized I’m doing pretty fine when I don’t live with parents. Then I finally realized I can do anything I want to do, and I felt like I can be anyone you want to be.

My major was an English literature, and I could get a teachers license of junior high and high school. But to get the license, you need to go to 3 weeks intern at your old high school. The feeling at first was totally not good because that was a metaphor of my gloomy high school days. But something strange happened. I was a kind of star when I spent 3 weeks because there are many experienced teachers, so I was seemed maybe so fresh and cool. So, I was talked by many girl students, and when I walk a corridor in the school, some students screamed to me. That was actually a bit scaring though, my memory of high school has gradually changed.

At the last day of my intern, students gave me a tie, flowers and message cards written like “Your English class was really fun! Please be a teacher and come back!”, “I want you to be a really teacher. Your smile is great” or something like that. In short, I was hoped to be a teacher. I feel I’m not good at doing my best for myself, but I somehow feel I can do my best for somebody else. But I haven’t studied for the employment test, which is not that easy to pass. You have to pass the exam set by each prefectures in Japan. But, I gave a shot. Then, something miracle happened. I passed.

The experience was totally unbelievable because there are many to be teachers who try the test many times to be a real teacher, but I could pass by one chance. I’m not trying to boost myself but anyway, I suddenly got a chance to be a teacher. Actually, at the same time, I also made another miracle to pass the exam of graduation school, so I suspended the right to be a teacher and I became a grad school student because the person who I admired the most was university professor.

However, the reality was harsh to me. Every classmates was so smart that I can’t catch up them. They have read tremendous books and had vast knowledge about literature. Unlike me who actually likes comedy TV rather than literature couldn’t fake myself to be a grad school student in English department. And especially, the life style at that time was not my type. All you do is read books through a day. Sometimes take a lecture, reading books, make a presentation, reading books, writing report, reading books. So, you don’t need to talk with anyone else. That was such an “input” days.

One day I asked one of my school friend, “Hey, don’t you think it’s crazy that you don’t talk with anybody in all day?” Then he said, “I’m OK because I can talk with myself”. That the exact moment I realized I can’t be a professor. I don’t have a life time theme for my research, and I somehow can’t stand the environment anymore. Then I though, Maybe I can finish this Master degree, and I can be a high school teacher. I can output many things.

At the interview test of my master thesis, one of the professor asked me, “So, Mr. Watanabe, after finishing Master degree, what’s your plan?” So I said “I’ll come back to Hokkaido, my home prefecture, and be a high school teacher.” “Why don’t you be a teacher in Tokyo? So you can connect with us easily”. Then I said, “Tokyo is a bit uncomfortable for me to live, and especially I think it will be great if I could teach students who seem totally irrelevant to me kind of people. Don’t you think that would make a great chemical reaction, sir?” Then the professor said, “Wow. That’s truly great”.

Now I am 27 years old and in this year, I become 28 years old. I have been teaching for about 3 and a half years. I think I like this job but I have no confident if I would hold onto this job. It is because I still can’t find a person who I really want to be in this world. I have hardly met super cool teacher to me. I know many teachers who really love students and are loved by students. That is beautiful. But, do I want to be that kind of teacher? The thing I really want to teach is English? Is this really what I want to do? Yeah, I know. Maybe I need to focus on what I need to do now. But then I think like maybe I shouldn’t have been a teacher thanks to a really lucky shot. I have met many young teachers who said “I really wanted to be this job, and I tried 2 or 3 times the test” or like that. Then I feel like, yes, you kind of people should be the teacher.

The result of education seems to come in a really long after, so I have no idea I could have made an interesting chemical reaction so far. Teaching English is so hard because there are many students who initially don’t like to study English. To be honest, I would think in my heart like, I’m totally agree. Here is Japan, and you can use translation app, and you can study something more interesting thing to you.

There are so many methods to teach English. So many confusion in Japanese school. I felt I want to escape from this confusing gloomy world as soon as possible many times. School system sucks, teachers are working too long hours and too busy. Should I really keep being an English teacher? I’m always wondering. But I cannot hit upon the answer for that question. I have no idea for the next job. I have been running away from true me? Should I face myself more? Maybe so. Maybe that’s why I like to write.