"I have a degree in arts and being a teacher was something that kind of 'fell from a parachute' in my life. Here in Japan, I was in my second year of graduate, when the secretary of education found that I existed. They needed people like me, because the city had many Brazilian immigrants. He came to me and asked if I could help. I replied: 'I can help, but can not speak Japanese properly.' They accepted and today I work to help children reducing the anxiety and stress all the changes they have to go through.
Life here is very different from Brazil, so it's very hard for them. I try to help reduce stress and all that comes with the moving. I've been doing this for over 20 years. I do my job because I like to help. In Brazil, I would be a teacher of Arts. I also like to teach art classes, but I think the work that I realize here makes me more useful.
I've always been that kind of student who did what it needed to be done. If I had to be a 7, I was a 7. Only in arts! In college too. I made architecture for three years and did well only in arts. I was never a trouble maker, maybe in High School, like everyone else. I will never forget my first teacher, Mrs. Aparecida, we have a picture of her in our minds, a respectful image. And it is important that memory of our teachers. I am completely different from her. She was always very prim, methodical and correct. I'm not like that, I adapt to each child, do what needs to be done, I decided right there.
The Japanese system is a mass education system. The goal is that they are all equal. If a child is different, it is not well seen, it is not well accepted. You have to be part of that majority.
I think if we combined the education of Japan and Brazil it would be the perfect education. Simple things that don’t work in Brazil, here they do.
However, there is a lack of creativity.
From here I would take the discipline, the respect for the teacher. When a teacher speaks here, all students are silent. From a very young age, children learn to be quiet when the teacher is talking, and I know that Brazilian teachers spend too much time dealing with this. What I would bring from to Brazil is joy. Here they cut too much. Whenever a child begins to stand out he or she is molded to fit into what is expected. When I arrived here in Japan, I saw children drawing. They all draw! All of them! And they draw very well. But it's all the same. In Brazil, when I used to be in art classes, every child's drawing had a particular importance. We helped develop the skills where the child has shown potential, in all kinds of classes.
The Japanese system works because there are no differences. Even within the school, everyone does everything. Teachers and principals have to do cleaning, gardening, maintenance. Children also clean and participate in everything. This equality is also expressed in wages, all school employees earn similar wages, there are no major differences between the positions and salaries.
I think the Japanese society expects teachers to teach children to grow as Japanese citizens. The teacher in Japan is very important. There is a lot of freedom, but a lot of responsibility. Teachers influence in the family. In Brazil, the teacher’s responsability is restricted to school, sometimes only to the classroom. Not here. The student is the responsibility of the teacher in school, on the way home and sometimes even inside some home issues are teacher accountability. This is all too much responsibility and so the teachers have a lot of support. I see teachers at school until the evening, Even those not receiving extra money for this. Some teachers come to stay until midnight in school, to solve and plan everything. Education for them is the most important thing.
In my family, we are four brothers and I always heard that the teacher's life was easy because we have two holidays a year. But they have never seen that we need to do a lot of the work at home, and that we are always trying to solve the students problems. Even this 'two months' is not true. Because here, even on holidays, teachers go to the school, on a rotating schedule. That had the extra activities like sports and that sort of thing, the teacher accompanies at all. No one here in Japan takes thirty days' vacation, there is no such a thing. They always question me what would I do within thirty days of vacation. The teachers here have holidays, but never gets to thirty days.
To my students I hope they get to college. I hope they study. This seems like a simple goal, but it is not. Because as my students here are Brazilians, many people think, 'They are only going to stay a while, a year, a few months and then leave'. The result is that many children of this generation grew up without learning properly the languages - Portuguese and Japanese. Teachers did not force them to study and the result is that they can not write even Portuguese or Japanese in the formal way. Today these children are older and know that they lost time. And this has changed because children are staying. Even when parents are gone, they stay here. You have to think that they will grew up here, that will make their lives here. So my biggest goal is that they are able to study through college, they become graduated and have good careers. Because there are universities for everyone.
I had a student who wanted to be a teacher. When he entered college, a professor cut him this idea, saying that because he was a foreign, there would be no school for him to teach. This is not true. This teacher was wrong. When a foreigner come here and want to teach, it is very well received. This college professor missed much in questioning his dream and the result is that he didn’t continue training to teach. So my dream is that they realize that there is future for them here in Japan.
I hope that all teachers can be well seen one day.
I hope them all have the respect they deserve .
It's hard to be a teacher, especially in Brazil . Here is a little bit easier.
Wherever we are, being a teacher , changing lives and helping people is very rewarding."