Here’s why I will probably always have a job at ECC as long as I want: according to Japanese standards, I have the cutest voice ever, seriously. Inevitably, after nearly every kid’s class I teach, I either am told or hear that the sensei’s voice is so kawaii (cute). It doesn’t matter how shy or scared a kid might be when they see me-the new teacher, by the end of the class they are yelling and singsonging right along with me, and I really think that it’s my voice that does it. I don’t do anything special, just teach the lesson. And I also think it gives me the ability to make ordinarily tight-laced Japanese adults do whatever I want during a lesson. I’ve gotten adults to role play, sing Jingle Bells as the sound of a door opening, and laugh pretty heartily. My voice puts some kind of spell on Japanese people. I’m like a snake charmer, but instead of just getting a tame snake to come out of a basket, I get people to speak English! Similar tactics perhaps, but English has a greater benefit to mankind than a snake with a bit of a weaving problem.
But, no joke, today I had a model lesson for a little girl who was thinking about going to ECC. Her mom hadn’t officially signed with ECC yet, and it all hinged on whether or not this girl liked me. We had a fun lesson (in my opinion), and afterwards, the director told me that the girl liked me, so they were going to sign with ECC, and as he said that, I heard both the mom and the daughter saying in Japanese that I had such a cute voice. So a big part of my appeal is my little girl voice.
But, I’m not going to diss it because apparently it’s a huge benefit here in Japan. In a culture where “the cuter the better” is the standard, I fit right in! But I am excited for the private lesson. The girl, Wakana, is 7 and she’s great! She’s energetic and a great learner! I think it’ll be a good time for the both of us every Saturday afternoon! 🙂