Voices
in
Japan

have your say

Many people can recall a school teacher who had a major influence on their lives. Was there such a teacher in your life and how did he or she influence you?

28 Comments

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

28 Comments
Login to comment

Yes! I have several of them in my grade school and high school days. Let me share a story of them. My science teacher during my first year in high school always told us that his deadline is his deadline. Those words stuck to me and I always try to submit things as early as I can. Another science teacher of mine during my last year gave us one of the most important life lessons I can remember - calculate your expenses. His example was to calculate how much smoking cigarettes were if we started right out of high school until we were 60. I forgot how much it was, but it was as much as a car. The thing is, the lessons that stuck to me were life lessons they gave and the academic lessons they taught got lost in time. I am grateful to have them as my teachers.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Probably not the kind of comment you are looking for, but I was an avid fan of science and was looking forward to a career in astronomy. But then I had to take Biology, and I had the worst teacher ever. She soured me off of science. It was the last science course I took in high school, and I took the bare minimum in college.

I now teach English here in Japan, and I do my best to give my students an interest, if not excitement, in the subject. I never want to be the teacher that drags someone down.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Many of my teachers predicting me that I will never have a bright future.

They called me a pain in the ass and a troublemaker.

I wish they could see me today, with my professional career, all the languages I can speak and all the places in the world I have been too.

99% of my teachers were idiots and I proofed them all wrong with their predictions about my future.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

One more very important point to add:

The only persons who always believed in me, were my parents.

Without the support and trust of my parents, I would not be where I am now.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

My Classics teacher. There were only three of us in the Classics Lower Sixth, 'cause of course all that dusty old Latin and Ancient History was strictly for the birds. Then we got a new, young teacher straight out of university, who was really enthusiastic about everything classic, and his enthusiasm was infectious. And he was cool.

I'd enjoyed Classics before, but after he started to teach us, I loved the subject. Did well in it, too.

It was he who gave me the confidence to study Japanese at university, despite the reaction of everyone else being on the lines of, 'But why would anyone want to study Japanese??' (Echoes of 'Why would anyone want to study Latin and Greek??'

Thank you, Mr, Dyson.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

None from my school days and I was a rebel and still am to this day. I did not have the normal life or childhood that most people had.

When I first came to Japan in the early 2000s and I am still here still paving my own path. I worked for a few Japanese companies for the first year I was here and immediately knew the normal everyday life of working for someone was not for me. I hated that life style and could not deal with it. I looked for mentors.

The following teachers/mentors were my greatest teachers:

**Jeff Olson** The writer one of the greatest textbooks in history: The Slight Edge. Excellent book for anyone who wants to change their life. **Dale Carnegie** The writer of How to Win Friends and Influence People. **Napoleon Hill, **The writer of Think and Grow Rich
-2 ( +4 / -6 )

zichi

Poor old Mrs Williams probably wasn't all that old if she was still working, but I imagine she appeared positively ancient to a 4 year old!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Father Lech Stanislaus, who taught me Latin, Greek, and the love of Scripture at the seminary. In his younger days, he had been imprisoned for 18 months in a labor camp by the Soviet authorities in his native Poland for refusing to acquiesce to their lies and outrages. He was a personal, living example of how 'resistance to tyrants is obedience to God'.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

My high school French teacher because she was honest and real and treated me like a young adult who was learning instead of a teenager who didn't know anything. Still in touch with her 30 years later.

My AP English teacher for all of the wrong reasons like YeahRight and Monty pointed out. As they say, nobody is completely useless, they can always serve as a bad example.

Ego Sum, great story.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

elementary school teacher.

history and geography.

guy had really high iq and could talk about many subjects "without paper" or some lengthy preparation.

he have provided a lot of extra informations and had very interesting vocabulary and style of teaching,making both history and geography as my hobby till these days.

because of him I could get in my hands many books and read these a lot back in days when there was no internet or iphones at all.

I met guy in 2018 when I went to visit my homecountry/we had classmates meeting 30 year anniversary after graduation of school/and honestly if guy was about 60years old that time-his spirit stayed same.

guy told me always look at things from bright side and never ever give up,walk in your line.listen many people,check many sources and never stop to educate yourself.

so this is my story.

guy have passed away last year,even triple vaccined covid came ,found him and have killed him in less than 24hrs as his lngs have been completely rotten.guy was completely healthy man without any serious health issues ,no alcohol,no cigarettes,he was sportsman and vegetarian.

RIP Milo.I will try my best here.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I have to thank all of them for the knowledge and their experience they shared with us at school. There were very good and a few not so good teachers, but that’s not the point, more important is, that you take out every little bit of knowledge , other people’s experience and opinions and just everything else that is provided. The more knowledge or ideas you take with you , the more little details you can afford to forget later over time, but then still having much more at hand than the average person. That’s why my favorite teachers were the extremely strict ones. A forgotten comma in the dictation or a made homework but left at home in the morning? Yes, that of course happened, but only one time, I swear. They perfectly made you to not forget it twice. lol

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

My Maths teacher told me to not bother with what he called ‘hobby’ subjects - English Lit, History, Geography, Languages etc. and hit the Sciences and Maths. I wanted to to do Economics at A Level but he called it something like English Literature with basic maths. If he had had more or any experience in work outside education, he probably would have advised me to study engineering at university.

Overall, reasonable advice in terms of finding a job, but I was actually more interested in the ‘hobby’ subjects and even more so now.

I remember an eccentric Elementary School teacher who tried to live a bit like like Richard Briers and Felicity Kendall in ‘The Good Life’. She brought her duck to class one day. Very interesting woman who instilled in us interest in animals.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

My English teacher in year 9. He was a bit of an iconoclast who encouraged students to push the boundaries of what we'd been taught up to then, break a few rules, and to read as widely as possible. His influence wasn't that strong early on, but percolated slowly over time and continues to the present.

A couple of years later he published his first young-adult fiction and has produced plenty since to make him one of Australia's most successful novelists - some of his works have even been adapted to film. He's also opened his own alternative school in south-eastern Australia for kids who don't fit in well to the conventional system. Might've been the right place for you, Monty :-)

Thanks, John Marsden.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Had many teachers who were a great influence for me. Science teachers, math, English etc. Had one lecturer though that told us who we should vote for in an upcoming election. I have little respect for any education professional who does that.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

My English teacher in secondary school , year 5 Mr Young. Feared by everyone as the ultra strict deputy head. A genius in the classroom who could motivate 15 year old boys to study Oscar Wilde and Thomas hardy. He inspired me to use language fruitfully and correctly and instilled in most of us the power of language.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Many memories of teachers, both good and bad. But one memory that sticks with me was of a visiting teacher from Kenya to our primary school in Scotland. This was over 50 years ago. We were about 11 years old and all pale skinned - more light blue than white. Our regular teacher asked if we had any questions for the visitor, and one kid puts up his hand and asks, "Sir, are you made of chocolate?" It wasn't asked maliciously. The boy who asked was kind of weird. But the rest of us knew it was out of order, and were waiting for our regular teacher to explode. But before she could say anything, the visitor said, "No. Look!" And he placed his hand on the classroom radiator. "See. It's not melting." Then he went round the class, and let all of us touch his hand. I think those few minutes gave us all a powerful lesson in humanity.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My home economics teacher gave me an exceedingly good grade.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My typing teacher in grades 8 and 9. Italian. Looked like Sophia Loren. No kidding. I was the only male in the class and in that first year, after the first class, she asked me to stay and asked me why I was taking typing. I told her I wanted to be a writer, and that being the only guy in the class, surrounded by girls, made me feel good. She told me to practice, not at being attracted to girls, but to keep my eyes closed and touch-type at the highest speed possible because that would enable me to speak from my mind when typing. She said it would be better than dictating to a secretary if I could put my thoughts down as quickly as they entered my mind.

She was right. And for 55 years, I've appreciated her direction. And her incredible, exotic looks!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I had a elementary teacher name Mr. Levy, looking back I would give him hell everyday just being a class clown. Finally one day in class he asked me to see him after class which I did. He asked why do you have to be a class clown your grades are tops in the class why do you not take life serious. I said I enjoy making people laugh he said so you want to be a comedian. I said no I want to be a scientist making rockets etc. He said if you change your ways and you are serious I will talk to you about what you want to be in life. He called my parents and asked if he could take me to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago which they said yes. I looked up at the huge celings planes where every where. We spent the entire day they there. From that day on I was in awe I eventually went back to the museum by myself because there was just so much to see and learn. As I returned to school he said he noticed a change. He planted the seed, I graduated from one on the best universities in the country with a bachelors of science in Electrical Engineering and became the scientist that I am today. I wish he could see some of my accomplishments. He was a great guy!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My 9th grade Algebra teacher told me that I should never do anything related or needing mathematics. Do something in the liberal arts… sociology, dig a ditch, etc.

Somehow, in spite of his advice, I managed to take years of calculus, math analysis, calculus-based physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, nuclear physics, etc. and graduated magma cum laude from a prestigious engineering university.

I guess he provided all of the motivation I needed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Peter NeilToday  03:22 am JST

My 9th grade Algebra teacher told me that I should never do anything related or needing mathematics. Do something in the liberal arts… sociology, dig a ditch, etc.

Somehow, in spite of his advice, I managed to take years of calculus, math analysis, calculus-based physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, nuclear physics, etc. and graduated magma cum laude from a prestigious engineering university.

I guess he provided all of the motivation I needed.

Sometimes that negative motivation is the strongest of all - the desire to prove someone wrong. Well done!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thank you and you’re right, motivation can come from positives and negatives!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh yes! Half of my teachers were Catholicsn nuns. And they, as well as my parents had a great influence in my religious life. From kindergarten to high school. As a result I am now fully against religion, specially the Catholic religion.

If I see people trying to spread Bibles or pamphlets to random (elementary school) kids on the road, or even at the entrance of public schools, I would stop them and tell the kids not to talk to these strangers and to report it to their parents.

Probably not the influence my teachers and parents were intending to have on me but hey. Still an influence.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My 7th grade social studies teacher Taught me that when he said something, he meant it and we all should to.

For example, he told us to not be late for class. Once the bell rang, he locked the door. Late kids had to wait a few minutes outside before he let them in. He gave us one minute to turn in our homework assignments once the class started with no exceptions. Once the timer went off, no homework could be turn in even if you had it done. Period. It was like that for every other single thing in that class.

It really taught all of us 12 year-olds to get our acts together and not even think about making excuses because none were accepted.

He was a Vietnam vet and incredibly disciplined. He told us that on the battlefield any delay, excuse, or laziness got people killed. He wanted us to carry ourselves in the same manner - to do or not to do with no excuses. And it's been with me ever since.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I've had many teachers who've had a positive influence on me but my 5th grade home room teacher, Mr. Finelli, was the best. I still remember his lessons and still talk about him when the topic of role models comes up. Growing up in NYC in those days was really tough and I'm sure teaching wasn't easy. He was always positive and uplifting and praised effort and never tore anyone down no matter the situation. I never saw him angry even when he probably had a right to be that way. When that school year ended, I could not stop missing him and his class and spent the better part of two days looking out my windows at VW Bugs because that was the car he drove. He taught me the value of working hard in class and even when you miss, not to get down. Almost 50 years later, I still think about his teaching and he is one of only a handful of people I would genuinely look for if I were on FB or other social media. Wouldn't care if he didn't remember me but would definitely buy him dinner.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My university profs inspired me more overall than other teachers in my past, but there was never any ONE teacher who had a major influence, but rather a lot of great teachers who taught me a number of lessons, even if very small, that have helped along the way. Again, though, with some of the profs you're treated a little more like an adult, and I was invited to Thanksgiving dinners, out for drinks, and more, and you learn a lot more about life, and my writing and other creative profs pointed me in some interesting directions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites