Hello everyone, my name is Tomokiyo Arakawa.
I assumed the position of principal of the Okinawa AMICUS International on April 1.
I am from Yonabaru town, Okinawa.
After teaching English at prefectural high schools for 25 years,
I joined the Okinawa National College of Technology
from the preparatory stage for its establishment,
and I have engaged myself in education
at the technical college for 11 years until last March.
It has only been a week since I came to AMICUS.
My first impression was that all the staff here were very friendly and energetic.
I can always hear them speaking in English and laughing cheerfully in the staff room.
Orientation for all of our teachers was held over the past two days.
It started with self-introductions from all the participants including new members.
We all received explanations on the
activities of our nurse’s office and library,
curriculum contents of each subject,
annual activity plan, and changes for the new academic year.
In addition, we invited a guest lecturer
and learned more about immersion education.
Although orientation is held at every school, from elementary to high school,
it tends to have a singular focus for the participants.
However, AMICUS’s orientation has
completely overturned my recognition of orientation,
which was based on my long career as an educator.
This was a completely fresh experience for me.
Led by a witty moderator,
both presenters and listeners, actively exchanged their opinions in English
and there were smiling faces everywhere throughout the event.
During the orientation, we played “icebreakers”
to get better acquainted at the multipurpose hall.
The game was intended to memorize new members’ names and faces,
and everyone enjoyed the game
rolling around on the floor, laughing like children.
It was easy to feel the ambience of AMICUS
just from the experience I shared together with the teachers and office staff on that day.
Our teachers are all international.
They have different nationalities and cultures,
but gathered here at AMICUS under our educational philosophy.
Their teaching style is never one-way traffic.
They always encourage students to raise a question,
think and act for themselves, and express their opinions.
AMICUS is still a new school with only a short history of three years.
Of course there are problems to discuss and solve.
Yet, I am confident that AMICUS will continue improving
as long as we place children at the heart of our philosophy
and have teachers who can communicate fully with each other.