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Top>Hakumon CHUO [2012 Early Spring Issue]>[The spring of a lively bunch] Three years experience as a learning support volunteer Realizing a dream since primary school to become a teacher

Hakumon CHUOIndex

The spring of a lively bunch

Three years experience as a learning support volunteer
Realizing a dream since primary school to become a teacher

Hikari Tanaka
Faculty of Letters (Toho Girls' High School graduate)

Hikari Tanaka

Realizing the dream she has held since primary school to become a teacher, Ms. Tanaka will become a primary school teacher in Tokyo this spring.

"When I was at primary school and didn't have any self-confidence, my teacher told me I was a 'fast runner', and I joined the relay team. With that, I began to believe in myself. Since then, I respected teachers and wanted to become a teacher myself."

Ms. Tanaka, whose desire to become a teacher continued to grow, entered Chuo University because of the solid support available for acquiring a teacher's license. "I couldn't help but enjoy studying for four years at university. Until now I was passive, but I confronted lessons at university with the attitude of trying to absorb something," reflects Tanaka.

From her first year, she participated in student-only independent seminars called sub-seminars, becoming seminar head in her third year, and mainly studied the relationship between society and schools. "By taking another look at education objectively, I became aware of many issues. One of those is the "monster parent," which has become a social issue. I feel that education is becoming a service industry," she says.

From second year she participated as a volunteer junior high school learning supporter, and from the summer in her fourth year, conducted learning support for students refusing to go to school.

"By watching lessons through my volunteer work, I could understand where students have interest and where they lose interest," Tanaka says about the major outcome from her experiences. "It gave me great strength for becoming a teacher."

"When students are poor at something, you don't randomly reprimand them; it is important to put yourself in their position. It is important to make them think it over until they understand," she adds about her self-awareness of a teacher's position.

She was in charge of Japanese for her student-teaching practicum in her teacher-training course. She said, "A teacher shouldn't give one-way instructions from a position above the students; He or she should aim to build a relationship where students can convey their feelings at the same level, like a parent and child," showing signs of a budding teacher.

Ms. Tanaka says that the ideal teacher is, "one who draws out the potential of a child." "At primary school, children are green in every respect, but there is a lot of potential. I think it is the role of the teacher not to impose mistaken limits at a time when children can absorb various things," she states with a serious face.

Her pet saying is, "genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." With these words learnt from her father, she has seized every chance she could so far. Ms. Tanaka won't stop trying when she becomes a teacher and is prepared to make every effort for the children in her class.