The following are some of Joy Dickson's thoughts on teaching Japanese in a Boston public school:
"Group work is so essential to Japanese culture, and a lot of it is just a matter of having the kids sit together.... We can always dictate and tell them what to do, but when they leave that door, we're not with them, so they have to get along.
I'm really pushing this concept of the group and really learning how to get along with people. In the United States we push so much for individualism that we sacrifice respecting people."
"I always try to say hello and goodbye to students. Teaching in an inner-city school, I don't know what will happen when they walk out - I want kids to say someone
in their life said something nice to them."
"One of my philosophies is, I don't understand what
'I can't' means. Kids at this age have a tendency to say
'I can't, I can't, I can't.'"
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