Page 3 - Hawaii Island MidWeek - June 22, 2022
P. 3

JUNE 22, 2022
             I Teachable Moments
 am proud to say that the Nagasawa household is chock full of teachers. Well, in my case ex-teacher. Back in the early ’80s, I got a job as a camp counselor for the
 Foundation of the Junior Deaf and Blind in L.A. With no experience, I learned sign language and how to work with vision-challenged children, mostly from economically poor communities. When I returned home, the experience set me up to actually get a job with state Department of Education, Central O‘ahu division. I was a special education teacher’s assistant at Pearl Harbor Kai Elementary. They soon pulled me and made me a special education home tutor for Radford High School and Alvah Scott Elementary School. I would tu- tor special education students in their homes, as they couldn’t be in a classroom setting for various reasons. You could say I pioneered distance learning.
    Our son, Dr. Nagasawa, is a full-blown professor teaching at Macalester College in Minnesota. He teaches religious studies specializing in Asian religions and Tibetan Buddhism. He knew his path from high school and has finally realized his dream. Most of you who read this column probably know that my wife and daughter work at the same parochial school (preschool to eighth grade).
  My wife is the office administrator and from everything I’ve seen and heard is the “mom” of the school. Our daughter is ending her second year of teaching fourth grade. If any of you live with a teacher you might relate to what I’m about to tell you. I’m a minimalist and like to have our house clear of any clutter. During the school year, that is not possible, as my girls have work material scattered throughout the house, especially our kitchen table. I don’t think I’ve seen the surface of that table since 2020! That’s because there are schoolbooks, papers for correcting, artwork from students and enough sup- plies to stock all the Ben Franklin Crafts stores. However, I can’t complain as the rewards, most teachers know, are great.
    Our daughter read me this letter she received from a stu- dent on the last day of school. It says, “Dear Miss Nagasawa (best teacher ever). Thank you for always being there for me, solving my problems and comforting me. I am so sad that I’m going to fifth grade because you won’t be teaching me, but I know you prepared me. I will miss you. You always cheer me up when I see you with a big smile every morning. Thank you for teaching me how to be a positive and kind person. I know I have to move on and learn more with my new teachers. You have a special place in my heart. I will never forget you. Miss Nagasawa, you are the most compassionate, loving, caring, respectful teacher ever. Love, Rahi.”
  Wow. Just wow.

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