In addition to the 5,000 readers of this blog there are nearly 4,000 teachers on my monthly newsletter that I write in Japanese.
After the sad news from New Zealand last month I promised them all that this month I would be back to being “Genki” 元気 the Japanese word meaning for “fun”, “energetic” & “full of life”
Needless to say that won’t be happening.
But I have been very, very touched by all the messages that you have all sent me. There isn’t much I can do here. But I do really want to pass that feeling on to everyone else in Japan.
Originally we were thinking it would be great for your kids to make posters, take digital pictures and send them in. And of course if you could do that it would be amazing, please just email them to me.
But looking at sites like such as http://hopeletters.wordpress.com/ where you can write longer messages to everyone in Japan (and I would urge you to do so), I was thinking that, you know, it’s not just the kids. The teachers themselves are also really needing to hear your messages.
After a week of stress, getting a message from overseas, or even elsewhere in Japan, can really lift your day.
Do I feel guilty about asking this for Japan? Well, yes. Especially seeing as I have had so many emails from teachers in Chile expressing support after their horrible quake last year. And I never did anything then. Sadly, Japan will probably recover more quickly as well.
But I’m kind of justifying it because I’ve actually been to a lot of those schools that you are seeing on TV. I’ve done big shows for their kids and done workshops for the teachers. I used to be up on those stages that are now refugee camps.
Just like you, all the teachers who read the Japanese newsletter teach Genki English and we really are one big family.
I’d really like to ask you to take the time to just write maybe one or two lines (put them in the comments below) to express your support then I will collate them up and send them in the newsletter this week. If you could leave your name (first name only is also fine) and where you are from it would be great. I really don’t want to be sending out a fun game this month.
Most of the teachers can’t really speak English (otherwise they’d subscribe to the English newsletter not the Japanese one!) but they are all trying really hard. So keep the English really, really simple. Also remember that we don’t have the mass media hysteria over here so keep the words positive and supportive. Be creative and original.
Even for the teachers not in the affected areas, just hearing your messages will spur them on. I’m sure they will use them in class for older students, but I mainly want them to be from you, teacher to teacher, to show your support.
Finally I want to teach you one more word of Japanese. You already know Genki – 元気 and now I want to teach you Ganbaré! がんばれ！ Ganbare means “keep going”, “never give up”, “keep trying” or “keep your spirits high”.
If you can find the time to write a short message of support here I would very much appreciate it.