Teaching in Asia Profile: Lindsey Lahr

Name: Lindsey Lahr, CSB Alumna '07
School: Chuo Chugakkou (Junior High) and Chuo Shogakkou (Elementary School
City, Country: Misato-machi, Japan
Major/Minor: Communication/History
Email: [email protected]

How did you decide to teach in Asia?I knew I wanted to see a new part of the world.  I wanted to travel and experience how other people live.  I applied on somewhat of a whim after viewing the Teaching in Asia brochure from the Asian Studies Learning Community. With advice of Professor Bennetts I decided it would be a great opportunity.  I figured it could only help my goal of a career in intercultural/international communication and education.

How is your program designed (how often do you teach, living arrangements, what is your daily schedule)? I generally work Monday through Friday.  I have anywhere from one to five classes a day.  It all depends on the scheduling for that week and if there are tests or not.  I am mainly at a junior high, but I teach three elementary school classes each week and one kindergarten class as well.  When I am not in class I plan lessons and study Japanese. I live in my own house, that is owned by my city hall, in the town that I teach in.

Describe a memorable experience in the classroom: One of my most memorable classroom experiences is when I was outside the classroom with my students.  We had a fieldtrip around the town to learn about the history of Misato-machi.  A 3rd grade girl was put with me because she wants to study English in high school.  I was nervous to spend the whole day with her because I didn't want to ruin her whole day by having to talk to me.  She took advantage of this opportunity and we spoke a lot throughout the day. She practiced her English and I practiced my Japanese.  She is now one of my best students and we talk all the time outside of class.

What advice  do you have for students who are considering teaching in Asia? What should underclassmen be doing now to prepare for a career in Asia?  If there is a specific country they are interested in start studying the language.  Learn what you can about cultural and social norms.  Ask around if anyone knows anyone living there or has lived there for advice.  Think about what types of living conditions you could deal with and goals you have while you are there.  Realize that you have to be more patient than you ever thought possible and be very adaptable!