Liangyu Chen, Chinese, 2009-2013, four years in three courses including two-year IB English B.
Mrs. M has always been a wonderful teacher since the first day of the class, both talented with the command of the language and experienced in teaching students with a wide range of international backgrounds. More specifically, her classes were often arranged in a way that combines the main material of the course, such as poetry or storytelling, with a focus on a real life topic, such as human trafficking or social justice. In this way, besides practicing the specific format and style for the purpose of the class, we felt attached to the piece of writing through personal interest or further research and motivated to continue on writing and think critically about the topic. With these crucial skills taught and trained by Mrs. M throughout the high school years, I changed from a typical Chinese middle school student barely capable of writing a short paragraph to a student able to succeed in all the literature, philosophy and history classes that involve a great deal of researching and various styles of writing in college as a physics major.
As a mentor, we learnt from Mrs. M a great deal, from her past experience and pieces of life wisdom that she often shared with us during and after the class. Her advice and teachings continuously guide us through our lives in one way or another.
One time in class, we were practicing with writing and delivering speeches. The topic was on social justice with reference to dystopian novels and totalitarian regimes. When talking about equality and fairness in terms of distribution of resources, Mrs. M made a point by asking a simple yet intriguing question, “if one of you is better in math and the other more talented in art, would giving you both a calculator and a drawing pen be a ‘fair’ use of resources for the society?” The answer can evolve into a lengthy essay on egalitarianism and utilitarianism, but more importantly, the point is that Mrs. M constantly promotes and encourages this kind of critical thinking from the students in her class and that’s why I remain very fond of her after all these years.
The thing I remember about most you as a teacher in class is your distinctly clear English. This is very important when your students are learning English as second language. Surprising numbers of English teachers speak unclearly. Or at least their English is very unclear to non-native English speakers. Your English was always very clear, the tone of your voice, pronunciations, and your instructions were all clear and easy to understand. Also, you would often stop in mid-sentence to explain words (you often said “in other words….”, ) and this helped me a lot to understand what was discussed. I still remember a lot about you, you are one of the best teachers I have had in my entire life. I was very lucky to be taught by you.
Yumiko Morita, Japanese, 1989-1990
Sorry, my memory is vague. It’s a long time ago and I don’t really remember any incidents.
But I remember I learned a lot from you and you were a great teacher with a passion for learning.
I pray for your success and please let us know when you are already teaching online. My kids need to learn with you!
Mika Matsuo, Japanese, 1983-1984
I remember you as a kind and determined teacher. Within half a year I was out of the ESOL programme and my command of English has been an asset to me for life.
The ESOL movie club was definitely a highlight and something special. Another memorable event was that you taught us Dutch kids how to dance in clogs for the UN day performance!
If I have to write about one incident it must be when I had lost my down payment on the school yearbook. In those days Rp20,000 was still a tidy sum of money. Not only did you console me, but you also wrote me a very kind message which helped me find the money for the year book. Thank you so much, I never forgot!
Camiel de Leeuw, Dutch, 1984-1985
Mrs. M is one of the best teachers I’ve ever met in my life. She is caring, dedicated and passionate. She shows full commitment to enhancing non-native and native students’ English skills throughout the class and other activities. She pays very close attention and gives you the shrewdest advice. The fact that she is a non-native speaker makes non-native students comfortable because she truly understands their situations.
I was in her IB English B HL class when TEDx began in our school. I was not comfortable speaking in front of a big audience; however, Mrs. M forced me to join it as a non-native speaker. I hesitated to take this opportunity at the beginning. But now I know that it gave me such an amazing experience which now makes me confident to speak out in my university.
Another memorable event was when she told me about a summer homestay program in an English speaking country. She pointed to my speaking skills, that I couldn’t talk spontaneously. I went to Australia and stayed in this British family’s host house, and my speaking skills improved a lot.
Mana Kakinuma, Japanese, 2011-2015, four years in three courses including two-year IB English B
I remember meetings at your home for the ESOL Video Club
You were always kind and funny, and you taught us English from everyday details.
Po Chun Tu, Chinese, 1990-1991
You are a very supportive and patient teacher who always has passion and support for all students.
After 1 year in ESOL, when I cried with regret about failing the ESOL exit exam, you wept with me and hugged me in your arms.
You gave me the strength to challenge myself to succeed on the next exam.
Shiho, Japanese, 1991-1992
I remember the Enriched English class and the ESOL Video club.
More than 20 years have passed but I still remember that you were a passionate and a fair teacher.
Sam Yoo, Korean, 1994-1995
You were more than just a teacher for me. Even if it were only for one class, you were an unforgettable mentor who was always there for her students when they asked you for help. As a teacher, you never limit your students’ capabilities. Instead, you push them further outside their comfort zone, beyond their own expectations.
Marie Peguilhan, French, 2010
I remember you as a mentor and a teacher – a teacher who sincerely wishes for her students to be less handicapped in English. I also liked that on every draft submitted, you really put effort and time in writing comments and so on. I guess, without you I would have never achieved success in English! :)) I became so confident in English after taking your class. And by “success,” I mean I have an English lang and lit degree from university, and I completed 6 months internship in one of the largest English newspaper companies in Korea!
Youkyoung Alice Hong, Korean, 2001
You were my advisor and Teacher Aide supervisor. I will never forget that message you wrote on my journal. “You are a born teacher”. I always come back to this whenever I need encouragement, support, and guidance. Looking back, I still can’t believe you trusted me with taking over a class that one day. Such a great experience, and still so very thankful for it.
Yuki, Japanese, 2004-2005
After 10 years in Japanese School, moving to an International High School was the scariest thing, mainly because of the language and cultural barrier. Mrs. M made this transition easy and fun. She created content that students enjoy so much we often didn’t realize how much language and new culture we were learning. Mrs. M’s teaching approach boosted students’ confidence because she made us feel motivated and comfortable practicing and speaking in English we can immediately use.
The most memorable thing she did was bringing me out of my shell. I don’t think she knows how much impact she had on me. I was a shy girl before I met her but by the second year of her English class, I remember I shocked my class mates and myself when I gave a presentation by dancing and rapping along to my slides. Mrs. M is an unparalleled educator and presenter who can blend serious insight and solid study into a form that is exciting and engaging – I learned so much more than just English language from her. High School was the best time because of her and while her extensive knowledge and rich experience definitely helped my education, it is her heart and enthusiasm that I truly appreciate and cherish until 22 years later, today.
Chiko Kitaoka, Japanese, 1996-1996
I thought you as the most reliable teacher in school because you were the only person that let me have any mistakes in assignments in English. And through those mistakes I made in your English class, I could gradually learn accurate grammar and vocabulary and so on… So your class was the place where I felt calm.
Yohana Minoura, Japanese, 2008-2011
It’s been 10 years so I’m a bit hazy on details but I never dreaded English the way I usually would when I had Mrs. M as my teacher. English has always
been one of my least favourite school subjects but Mrs. M was one of my favourite teachers in high school, and I think it takes a really special teacher to make me enjoy attending a course that I don’t like.
In a later year I put Mrs. M down as one of the teachers I wanted as my mentor but her group was completely full – I think that speaks volumes to how special she was to other students as well.
Kristopher, Australian, 2008
You were very passionate, enthusiastic, kindhearted, patient and loving to your students, especially me.
You are truly an inspiring teacher. You have the true heart and passion for what you teach to your students. I admire all the love, patience, kindness, and care you have with everyone. Do not stop teaching, because you are such a wonderful teacher to students, and you help them learn a lot. You are also an admirable positive person with an upright attitude. I love you to the moon and back again.
Samuel Abraham Sianturi, Indonesian, 2014-2015
You are the teacher who turned my least favorite subject into a much more fun and engaging activity. Without you I would have never found the joy in learning English.
I still remember many sessions when you gave us the opportunity to step up and speak in front of a real audience, invited guests. Those practices really allowed me to gain a lot of confidence in speaking English.
Ruofei Du, Chinese, 2009-2013, four years in three courses including two-year IB English B.
I remember that you were very passionate about what you taught. You understand that some students need more time to do a project, and you accommodated me with that need. When I did not perform at my best, I remember you allowed me to repeat/ re do the performance, and you gave me feedback on how to do it best. There are so many other things that you did and I loved – I think I chose the Communications and Human Services major also because I participated in your class and did the activities. I also did not like reading much (I still don’t), but I still talk about two books which I finished reading because of your class. I think it is because you taught us serious and critical issues at our age, and this is what makes your classes super interesting.
Anneesha Uno, Indonesian, 2014-15
I remember you as a mentor. You were super nice and equal to every single student.
Any time I asked you a question, you always taught me specifically and understandably.
Going to the local school every Saturday and donating TVs, pencils, plants for the kids and the school, for which we collected the money from the fundraising activities were very precious memories for me.
Thank you for teaching us and being the best teacher for such long years!!
Hopefully I can be your online student! My English skill has been getting worse since I came back to Japan!
Yuka, Japanese, 2011-2012
I remember Mrs. M was such a unique teacher that likes to try out new things. I’ve been her secret fan since 9th grade, as she was such a powerful teacher and very inspirational. She has motivated me to be more brave and be adventurous to enjoy life.
I remember she was a helpful teacher in and outside of class. Once when I was going to teach English in the summer, and she helped and advised me how to plan a lesson that is suitable for non-English speakers. It was memorable for me because I didn’t expect teachers would help so much with my service project, but she did, despite being so busy.
Another thing is just her class in general. Mrs. M’s class was never boring and all classes were meaningful and exciting. Her lessons were interactive and she never let students feel bored in class.
Riwa Tamai, Japanese, 2014-2018
I remember you as a teacher who not only taught me about English but also as a teacher who taught me about the world, and what it means to be an individual. You gave me a lot of life lessons to remember by!
I remember writing an essay and you reading it to check the grammar, but the feedback you gave me was not only about the structure of the essay, but more than that. You shared with me about how you felt reading my essay and really cared about my writing on a personal level. I thought that was very nice as writing an essay is something personal and not always easy to share.
Arisa, Japanese-Indonesian, 2015-2016
During the freshman, junior and senior years of high school, I took English lessons with you.
I remember you as an English teacher asking me to work on my grammar in the classroom. This event was particularly memorable for me because you discovered many grammatical errors in my papers.
After school, we worked on improving my grammar twice a week. As a result, my grammar improved and I felt confident that I could write in fluent English.
Tobin Peter Zolkowski, Indonesian-American deaf student, 2013-2016