Director’s Corner – 03/14/14

2014 March 14
by SWIRLsite

I’d like to try to post once a month and give some updates about Hills Learning and how things are going at the school. I will start it off by writing a “Director’s Corner”, and soon to follow will be excerpts from our teachers, students, and other faculty at the school that can talk a little bit about their experiences at Hills Learning and how their classes and jobs are going.


I thought it appropriate to start off my post with a picture of myself, my wife and my 7 month old daughter. We’re trying our best to teach her both Japanese and English.


Today I’d like to talk about Hills Learning’s culture and some conversations I’ve had with students.


Today I spoke with a couple students about our programs and what they’ve liked about them. It’s funny because one student really liked us because we’re more “relaxed” than previous programs that she had attended. She enjoys the fact that we let the teachers be flexible in their approach in language classes, being able to use multiple materials and also having a fun and engaging class.


Then I spoke to another student today, who said that she likes us because we’re more thorough and serious than her previous school. She liked our approach to language learning and how we take our courses and curriculum seriously, and how we have a set standard for language learning.


It brings me to the conclusion that Hills Learning’s “culture” is probably inbetween the serious, strict schools and the lax, fun schools. We definitely push for a quality experience, but it’s all about how the administrators “define” that experience, and also how the experience actually plays out in the classroom with our teachers and students. I think even when you try to be serious about curriculum, teacher standards, etc, still you need a fun and relaxed environment to really learn properly.  A laugh in a class goes a long way.


In conclusion, it’s always interesting to me to talk with students and I hope to do more of it. I do speak with our teachers quite often, but I feel like it’s only half the story. I’m always interested to hear how our culture is being developed through our classrooms and how much our students like (or of course dislike) the experience.

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