Teaching here in Japan Is a lot of fun but sometimes you wonder if you’re really inspiring your students or giving others an interesting experience. Let’s be honest, how many of us can remember our elementary or junior high teachers? Those who we do remember are probably remembered from their personalities or how good of a teacher they were. I inspire to be that but sometimes it can be hard when you see no immediate result.
On a particular difficult day at my junior high, I went to the library to cool off. The librarian, Miss Omoto, was happy to see me as always. As I mentioned before, I like going to the library to chat with her and if I’m lucky, I’ll have an interesting conversation with my students who are there.
“Oh hello, Diego! Long time no see!” It had been a few weeks since I saw Mrs. Omoto.
“Hello! It has been awhile. Where have you been?”
“Actually, I wanted to keep this a secret but I went to Peru!” This surprised me but what she said afterward really had me floored. “Actually, I’ve been meaning to go there for awhile but never had the courage to. However, that changed after I met you. You were the small push that made me decide to finally go and I’m glad I did. Here’s a souvenir for you!”:
I had no idea that our small chats affected her that greatly, it made my day. It also got me thinking how these kinds of small encounters can highly influence one’s life. It’s a fascinating and wonderful concept to me. I know countless of people and teachers that have influenced my life in one way or another so I’ll keep trying my best to be an inspiring teacher so I can have this effect on people as well.
The souvenir (the Peruvian flag made out of chocolate) was also delicious! Sadly, Miss Omoto was transferred out after the semester. I never got to say goodbye to her properly but I’m sure she’s happier being closer to her family in Tokyo. So thank you Miss Omoto, for always making my library visits memorable ones and helping me get closer to my students. I hope the next librarian is as good as you were.