Sunday, June 29, 2008

Last Day at Gaba

Five months ago I wasn't sure if I should take the job at Gaba. I was scared in case all the rumours I'd heard were true, I was scared of being shut out by my colleagues and bosses because of my age, I was afraid that no one would book my lessons and I'd run out of money and have to go home early.

But I loved it.

My last day today was so sad. I didn't want to leave the building because I knew I would have finished there.

There weren't any tears, but my eyes were definitely misty at several points during the day. In fact, this weekend was very emotional, as I had lessons with all my favourite students who I've been teaching for five months or so. With some, I've seen them over 20 times.

On Friday, I went to karaoke with some colleagues, and that was a lot of fun. But then of course it was sad to say goodbye to them even more than the others.

I bought a card for everyone at Gaba's Omotesando school to say thank you for everything, and left lots of business cards there, so I hope I'll be able to keep in touch with people there.

And I've been to the same Subway in Omotesando every day for lunch for the last five months, and the people there waved to me every time I went in, and we even chatted sometimes. So I gave them a card too, thanking them for baring with my Japanese and all the sandwiches they made for me.

But I will miss my students so much. Some of them only booked my lessons, and I would see them regularly twice or three times a week. I met so many interesting people, like an Asahi TV news cameraman, and a developer for Sony, even a man who has skydived over 100 times for fun.

I checked my evaluations from students online, and in my entire time at Gaba I received 44 five-star evaluations, 18 four-star, 4 three-star and no two or one-stars. So I'm pleased with that. I feel that my time there was a success.

During our last lesson today, one student, who became one of my favourite people to chat to, because she had such a bubbly personality and a very friendly nature, gave me a present and a letter written in English on my last day.

I gave Cadbury Dairy Milks (my favourite British chocolate) out to all the students who I really enjoyed meeting as a thank you for trusting a 19 year old to help them learn, and for being such good, hard-working students.

If I had gone straight home after work, I might have been quite sad, but I went to Roppongi with one of my housemates, because her dance teacher was taking part in a karaoke and dance party there. It was really interesting and I had a lot of fun. Towards the end, everyone except me was dancing and a Filipino girl ran up to me and pulled me onto the dancefloor. So I even danced a little!

If you are wondering about whether to take a job with Gaba or not, I definitely recommend taking it. The flexibility is unrivaled and, although the pay isn't as high as other places, it is fairly unchallenging, enjoyable work. And the best part is you get to meet new interesting people every day and learn a lot from them.


Titichu said...

Hey Miles!
Wow I can't beleived you teached your last lesson. I'm pretty sur that if you'll be back here in no time and applying to Gaba again ;) It feels awkward as I just finished my certification and will start my first lesson tonight. By the way, the certification changed a lot since ou took it. The test on the final day isn't the same anymore. Well at anyrate, enjoy the rest of you stay. I'll probably have free time during the day you suggested.

Cody said...

Ha ha, I felt a little sad reading this last post about Gaba and teaching. Did you get to choose where you wanted to work? I want to work in Shinjuku because I will have a friend there that could give me Japanese lessons, but I'm not sure if that's something Gaba could accommodate. Thanks a lot for writing all of this!

Miles said...

I didn't get to choose, but Gaba makes the decision after you provide details of where you live and what train lines are convenient for you. The Shinjuku school is huge apparently - I never went there but I heard stories that it really is amazing.