My introduction to Early Education

Many people ask me why I moved to Japan and why I decided to be a teacher. Well, I’ve wanted to live in Japan for such a long time since visiting 10 years ago, and teaching English was something that I believed I could be good at, especially since I have been working with and around kids for the past 10 years.

 なぜ日本に引っ越して来たのか、なぜ教師になろうと決めたのか、多くの人に尋ねられます。10年前に日本を訪れて以来、ずっと私は日本に住みたいと思っていました。今まで子ども達と関わる仕事を10年間していたので、英語を人に教える事、特に子どもへ 教える事 は私の得意分野だと思い、先生になりました。

Working with kids was not something that I initially had a passion for in high school. It simply was a way to make some money during the summer as a camp counselor back in those days. However, thanks to my mother’s business, Sweet Potato Kids, where I began my journey of teaching with kids, I also grew to understand the impact that working with kids can have on their livelihood and their future.

 私が高校生の時、子ども達と仕事をすることを熱望していたわけではありませんでした。当時、ただ単にキャンプカウンセラーとして夏休みの間にいくらかのお金を稼ぐための方法でした。しかし母の事業であるSweet Potato Kidsをきっかけに、子どもと一緒に仕事をすることは彼らの暮らしと将来に影響を与える事だと私は理解するようになりました。そして私は子ども達へ教える道を歩むようになりました。

Sweet Potato Kids is a children’s edutainment center in Baltimore County, Maryland. At SPK, we have an after school program, a summer camp, and a preschool program. My Mother created this place to be a safe space for kids ages 2-12, and to be a positive example of what early education should look like, especially when catering to kids primarily in the African American community.

 Sweet Potato Kidsは、メリーランド州ボルチモア郡にある子どものエデュテインメント(楽しみながら学ぶ)センターです。そこでは放課後プログラム、サマーキャンプ、そして就学前のプリスクールプログラムがあります。私の母は、2〜12歳の子ども達が安全に過ごせる場所として Sweet Potato Kids を創設しました。これは子どもに特化した時、特にアフリカ系アメリカ人の社会で早めの教育がどのようなものであるべきかを示す良いお手本でした。

She’s had her center for 20 years, since it first opened in 1999. I first began working there as a summer camp counselor in 2009 when I was 15 years old. I had little responsibility in the actual classroom, since my mom was the owner and I was still a bit young, but one of the most important responsibilities that I had was to be a good role model for the kids .


Being a positive role model in my community meant getting good grades in school, being kind to adults and friends, and treating the students with respect, love, and care. I didn’t know at the time, but this type of action sets a precedent in kids’ lives because they grow to learn and respect you and others by watching your actions. They also know that you can be there for them when they need, and they can ask you for help if need be. They know that you will support them.


My mother tells me that I have a passion for making sure generations are impacted via learning and experiences. I think that is true. I think that passion helped me connect with young people working at Sweet Potato Kids, and has helped me connect with young people whenever I traveled throughout the world. It has also helped me become a decent teacher here at Connect.

私の母は、私が経験によって学んできた事を同世代の人々に伝え、彼らに影響を与えられることに情熱を持っていると私に言います。それは当たっているかもしれません。その経験や情熱は私がSweet Potato Kid’sで若い人達と関わる時に役立ち、また世界中を旅する時はいつでも若い人たちと仲良くなるのに役立ちました。そして私がここコネクト英会話できちんとした教師になるのにも役立っています。

Working at Connect shows me that there is a similar vision that my Mom and also Ben Sensei have, and that is teaching them when they are young so they have the foundation to build from throughout their lives. When I go back to the US for Obon holiday, I will go to Sweet Potato Kids and meet the new students there, and will share with them my experiences that I’ve had in Japan. Hopefully, these young kids become inspired to travel to other countries and have the courage to see the world for themselves, and they too can impact others in the future.

コネクトで働いていると、私の母とBen先生には同じような未来へのビジョンを持っている事に気が付きました。それは教育を通して若い人達の人生の基礎を作ることです。今度のお盆休みをアメリカに戻って過ごすので、私は Sweet Potato Kidsに行って新しい生徒達に会い、そして私が日本で経験したことを彼らへ伝えるつもりです。もしかすると子ども達は他の国へ旅することに興味を持ち、自分自身で世界を見る勇気を持ち、彼ら自身も他の人たちに将来影響を与えるようになるかもしれません。