Ms.Haruka Mattox メッセージ1 （～Co-existing～）
Hello everyone! My name is Haruka Mattox. I was born in the U.S. and spent most of my time in Japan. I am currently a homeroom teacher of the Grade 10 Immersion class, and I also teach English to grades 9,10, and 12.
The environment I grew up in was pretty unique. My father being American and my mother being Japanese, I was raised with two languages. We lived on the nava l bases in Japan and I attended school there. I was learning everything in English, and at that time I had difficulty communicating in Japanese. Overcoming the language barrier was not easy. At some point, I had to transfer to Japanese school and I started taking classes in Japanese. It was a dramatical change in my life. It was then that I realized that I was half American. Most of the people saw me and treated me as a foreigner. Being ‘different’ was sometimes a barrier, so I focused on blending in with my classmates to be ‘normal’ and not ‘different’. I’ll be honest. Not everything was good then, but it was an experience that made me think deeply about language and culture. It also lead me to wanting to become a teacher.
Now as a teacher , I want my students to understand the beauty of language. Learning a foreign language is not an easy thing to do. Yes, it takes time and effort, but the knowledge you gain will be precious and live for the rest of your lives. That is what I want my students to eventually understand. For my classes, I try to do everything only using English. Especially for the English course students, it is important for them to get used to listening to English and try to understand through English. I focus on using visual aids, classroom English, and having students say their opinions. One of the important goals in Immersion classes are for students to think critically and being able to use English confidently.
At the same time, I also try to focus on the students’ various backgrounds. Here in Assumption, we have students from grade 7 to 12 who have lived abroad, studied abroad, and have non Japanese parents. I believe learning the cultural difference and accepting each other is another important role nowadays in education. As a homeroom teacher, I want the students to freely express themselves in the classroom and be someone who can care about others. This is mostly because I myself have experienced the cultural difference and had difficulty to blend in. Assumption is a place where teachers look carefully after each student and give them the support they need. I hope the challenges that each student has helps them grow into better versions of themselves.
August 31, 2020（Mon）