Saturday, March 11, 2006

Just when I thought it was over...

Just when I thought I had been treated to the highest honor a teacher could receive, my other school, which I'll be leaving this month, surprised me beyond words.

As my class ended, the students, whom I had just given last minute interview tests to, rushed to the back of the room and assembled. A student in front went to the piano while another student up front stood on two chairs pushed together.

The Japanese teacher whose homeroom it was, told me her students wanted to say goodbye to me with a song. It's called Sakura, and it's a very old Japanese song.

There is no way I could be prepared for what I heard next. As the piano started, and the 'conductor' student began to move her hands the girls all sung out in tones that could only be described as angelic. They were beautiful sounds. Amazingly beautiful singing voices, which reminded me of the Harlem Boys Choir, used in so many movies, such as Glory and others.

They sang, and I felt it hard to keep my composure. What made it even harder was seeing students I had taught for 3 years crying as they sung. With the conductor herself quickly rubbing her eyes against her upper arm without missing a beat in her movements, trying to wipe the tears away, which were now running down her face. This was too much. I used everything in me, to prevent myself from losing it, though my eyes did tear up clearly.

As they finished, a student came forward with a very large card, which all the students had written a message in English. With sentiments like "Never forget me! You're my best teacher forever", "I love English and I owe it all to you. And I love you!", how could one not be moved?

In all my years of teaching, these were the best students I had ever taught, and this day was one of the most moving ever for me.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you leaving Japan? Changing jobs?

6:34 AM  
Blogger supercublogger said...

Remainging in Japan, but I'll be changing my main school. The picture of the class above is the school I will no longer teach at. Due to the major changes in the department, my position was cut.


Judging by the hundreds of letters I received, the singing to me, the flowers, the homemade cookies and sweets handed to me by my students, with tears and sobs, I have to wonder about the wisdom of such changes, and in whose interest they are.

1:07 PM  

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