On a crystalline autumn morning, earlier than the appointment, there was a knock on the school window. I immediately knew that he was the teacher I had been waiting for.
I ask the interviewees to spend some time with our students and to do a 15 minute trial lesson. I was excited to see how he was going to do his trial lesson and how the children would react. He huddled his 190cm body down when talking to the 2 year olds. It was the children’s first time to see such a large man, but they seemed to enjoy his lesson. I quickly made my decision, and I asked him to join ABC right after his trial lesson.
I will never forget the words of our assistant’s father, who had opened up a branch of one of Japan’s top firms in the US,
“Hiring someone is like getting married to that person.”
You must see each other every weekday, breathe the same air, and aim for the same goal. You can enjoy the good times while you are getting along, but you must also work together even after having an argument.
We had many arguments in the beginning because the native teacher, the assistant, and I all had strong feelings about building an ideal school. Coming from different countries and having different cultural backgrounds, it was very important to work out differences and find compromises. But being the owner of the school, I tried to hold a line on what I believed. If I would of relented easily, things would of flown out of control.
This native teacher had strong beliefs concerning education, so he always did his best. He was very strict about grammar. He even said that I should forget what I had learned in Japanese school. I lamented saying “What?? But I studied so hard in those days.”
But because of him, I started to get more and more students. So six months later, I had to hire another native teacher to expand the school. It was a welcome change.
Our first full-time native teacher laid the foundation for ABC English School. The school wouldn’t have grown rapidly without him. He worked for the school for six years. That may sound long, but it felt short. We went through so many things together. Because of him, I am sincerely grateful.
So what will happen after employing two native teachers? Will the teachers get along? And now I need to design the new classroom. Let’s see what happens next. ABC’s History continues in Part 8!