Welcome to my Japanese class! I am very excited to share my experiences living, working and studying in Japan with you. My experiences with Japan and Japanese culture have literally changed my life. I have had so many amazing experiences form being a TV reporter, meeting shady characters, working as the American Director at USA Summer Camp, etc.
My detailed Japanese language and culture background is as follows: I was a summer exchange student my freshman summer of high school and loved it. All except I couldn't speak Japanese and thought it would be more fun if I could speak Japanese. Click here to see an article I wrote after that experience.
So I studied hard and graduated a semester early from high school and went abroad to Japan for a year. This is when the garlic story happened.
After returning from Japan, I went to the University of Iowa where I majored in Asian Languages and Literature with an emphasis on Japan and Japanese. Also during college I studied for 1.5 years at Nagoya Gakuin Daigaku University. It was at that time I took passed level 2 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). I wanted to go for level 2...but wasn't sure I had what it took.
After graduating from college, I taught English in Japan for 4 years. During that time I took and passed Level 1 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. When I came back I attended the University of Iowa and obtained my Master of Arts Teaching: Japanese degree and have taught Japanese ever since. Now going on 17+ years in public schools. I have been an American Director at GuyHealyJapan's USA Summer Camp for 3 summers.
So that is my Japanese/Japan history in a nutshell.
Now...my class is crazy fun in my opinion, but I could be biased. I have been working the last 6 years to channel my inner geek and gamify my classroom. Starting 4 years ago, I have been using ClassCraft to organize my classroom and provide my students with a fun enviorment that rewards them for working together and defeating bosses and doing their work. They can even be rewarded for just being awesome, which is something everyone should have a chance for in their life. Classcraft has changed out students engage in class and reinforces real world skills like collaboration, accountability and unleashes creativity and even a desire to go above and beyond!
If you can't tell, I love sharing my geekiness and passion for Japan, the language and helping students learn. I am always striving to find new ways to deliver material in a way that is engaging and gets students using it.
Also, never feel that your question isn’t “good enough”. I want to make your Japanese learning experience as fun and easy as possible.
If there's something going on in your life that is affecting your performance in my life, you have to let me know. If you don't let me know, I cannot make allowances or help. You can (ideally) talk to me before/during or after class, write me a note, send me an email or call me.
If you make an honest effort, I will be there to help you as much as I can!
Here are some notes/emails/messages students have sent in the past.
A little background on Ashley. She graduated a few years, just graduated from college and just moved back to Japan to teach English this year (2014).
Thank you so much for teaching me this year. After hearing you are leaving I just want to say how much I have appreciated what you have taught me. By far, you are the best online teacher I have ever had. I really liked that you were quick with responses, grading, and how you took the time to teach us outside of the curriculum as well. The online reference sheet was an amazing guide that I used often. I have never had another online teacher that took the amount of effort you did to ensure your students were living up to their potential. I wanted to take this time to let you know how much I appreciated your work and to say good luck with your future teaching!
Hontouni arigato gozaimasu!
Ohayou gozaimasu, Beatty-sensei. I wanted to make sure you read this before you left, hence I sent this in today, instead of tomorrow.
I just wanted to say, out of the four teachers I had throughout the entire year of Japanese I, you were definitely the best I had. Why? You were the only one who actually cared enough to push me to work past the minimum. I'm extremely grateful for that, even though I didn't quite like it at first. I really respect you a lot because of how you teach.
Those students who are going to be taught by you next are really lucky, because if I thought you were a great teacher online, you must be amazing in the classroom! I'm really going to miss having you as my teacher. Thank you so much for teaching, correcting, and encouraging me during this time.
Megan M. (2011) (This was from a student when I taught online for 1-year)
FB Message: Dan Christensen: You were one of the most organized teachers I have ever had. Also your teaching style worked because even 9 years later, I still remember a lot.