X is for X

X is for batsu, or the Japanese word for wrong, typically written as ‘X’. As a teacher, I use “batsu” a lot. But I’m not going to use this post to talk about what was “wrong” with anything; rather, I’m going to talk about my misconception about teaching in general. When I first arrived in Japan, I was adamant that I would never get a teaching job. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it, or be good at it, and I wanted to be special, and do something truly “fascinating” with my time in this country.

Well, then Tohoku happened. As I’ve mentioned in a few blog posts, I came to Japan as a foreign exchange student. However, half a year before my program was over, the great tsunami hit. I had to find an income quickly or I would have been forced to return home early. Teaching was the only job available.

I have been working at the same school now for five years with NJ (another bonus), and I am going to miss it so much. The children, the parents, my boss. I almost cried when I gave my notice last month. It’s unreal that I’ll really be leaving. The school has become my family, and some of these children I have watched grow up from 18 months to seven years of age. I have seen the school move to a new location, and with the help of NJ, designed it from scratch with our boss to make it the best school it could be. Leaving Japan really will mean leaving a huge piece of myself behind. Necessary, but terribly hard.

Images hosted on Flickr. 







Kyoto Kids Summer School 2014 1

Kyoto Kids Summer School 2014 5

23 thoughts on “X is for X

  1. joannesisco says:

    The memories you’ve made will always be you … not be mention your beautiful photographs. LIke a good book, we hate to see it end, but it’s time to pick up a new book 🙂
    I love the pictures of the little ones … especially the little pink hand ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Visman - wangiwriter says:

    I know how hard it is to leave children – and a life – you have lived for. I had to do that when, after nine years, I left the two indigenous communities where I lived & taught in remote areas of our Northern Territory.
    You will find that the experiences, the memories and the people will stay with you for life, and you will always be glad you had that special time.
    I think my son will also treasure his memories of teaching and living in Japan if he ever returns to Australia.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. saraletourneau says:

    Awwwwww. That’s wonderful that you’ve had the opportunity to teach children while living in Japan. I bet you learned as much from them as they did from you. 🙂 As hard as it will be to leave, you’ll always be able to carry that experience and the memories with you wherever you go.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Susan Gourley says:

    I know what you’re feeling. When I left teaching to write full time, my high school students broke my heart over and over again with their letters and hugs good bye. I don’t know if there is a more rewarding job to be had.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. strangepegs says:

    When I was in high school, teaching was one of the top three things I said I would never do. Then I spent huge portions of the last 25 years doing just that.

    Of course, the other two things I said I would never do were to be a lawyer or the President…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bobleponge216 says:

    Teaching should always be a two way street. There is no doubt that all the time, effort and love you’ve put into your teaching has been much more than just appreciated by those you taught. They, in turn, will have also taught you so much.
    Leave with a heavy heart but a happy soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. roweeee says:

    I feel for you moving on. Such a difference living in a place to “just visiting”. You putdown roots and can’t but leave a chunk of yourself behind and it’s not that easy to get back overseas..especially whn there’s the desire to see other places. However, there is that reassurance of knowing you have carpe diem seized the day and the memories and your beautiful photos xx Rowena.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. storycraftersx2 says:

    I am sorry you have to leave a place you love – I hope that your next place will have many wonderful things too! How sweet that you preserved part of your Japan story in this A to Z series. – Jeri from storytellingmatters.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sue Archer says:

    Such beautiful pictures. I can see why it is hard for you to leave. The wonderful thing as a teacher (from when I was a piano teacher) was the thought that I had made a child’s life better in some way through the experience (at least I hoped so). I am sure they will all have good memories of you, which is such a fantastic legacy!

    Liked by 1 person

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