Instructor Spotlight: Yuko Sato
How long have you been teaching classes with BA&CE?
I have been teaching Japanese courses for eight years, since 2013.
What are the different classes that you teach or have taught for BA&CE?
I have taught three levels of Japanese courses; Beginner, Beyond Beginner, and Intermediate. I also occasionally gave lectures about the Japanese tea ceremony.
What do you do for work and/or enjoyment when you’re not teaching?
I have been taking Karate lessons for about five years. My karate dojo also started zoom classes last spring, and I enjoy learning this Japanese traditional martial arts as a great exercise.
What do you like about teaching at BA&CE?
Students, students, and students! All the BA&CE students are talented, smart, enthusiastic, and kind people. It is such a rewarding experience to get to know them.
How do you connect with the students?
I use 15 minutes before the zoom class for catching up with my students. I try to give students “personal” assignments such as “Write five sentences about your New Year resolutions” during the class. They love to talk about their personal lives in Japanese.
Do you have a favorite memory from one of your classes?
There are so many memories. One student baked “kasutera” (Japanese pound cake) for the class. Another sang an anime song even though she could not read the relics back then. One brought real yen worth more than several hundred dollars when they learned how to count money. Some students have been taking the course for some years.
What do you look forward to in your next BA&CE class?
Learning Japanese could be challenging because of the differences between Japanese and English. However, it would be an admirable effort to understand a different culture. When a student has a breakthrough, their face lit up with excitement and joy. I want to have these moments as many as possible.
Finally, have you taught any online classes? If so, any takeaways or tips for those considering an online class?
Since this COVID pandemic, everyone has been pushed forward to online learning, including me. The online class has certain advantages for students, for example, they do not leave their house, they can take classes from anywhere in the US, and they can see the slides and the teacher quite well. But from the teaching side, it isn’t easy to see the reaction of the students. For me, the small size of classes is helpful.