I Keep Coming Back to Teaching

For eleven years, I was an English teacher in Japan. It still feels strange to say that I’m no longer teaching and no longer living in Japan. Part of me feels like I should still be there teaching. You know the feeling? You know things have changed, but part of you doesn’t want to accept it.

I missed the teaching. And then I started working at a science centre. Every day that I work, I’m teaching people (usually children) about the planets, physics, and occasionally bird feathers. I’m finding that I’m loving seeing kids enjoying learning about science. Science was my first love. Teaching English was an incredible experience, but now I’m helping to teach science to people, although not as a teacher. Today, I spent forty minutes talking to a woman (half in the planetarium, half in the gallery) about astronomy, science centres, and life experiences. It’s that kind of interaction I love. I enjoy talking to people about science and helping them learn something new.

That brings me to what I’m going to be doing very soon. And that is starting a science channel on YouTube. Science education and science literacy are very important to me. I want to help people understand that science can be interesting and fun. But I also want them to understand that without science literacy, society can’t advance. It’ll stagnate or even regress. I want to combat scientific illiteracy, pseudoscience, and misinformation. There’s too much of that going around these days.

I’m hoping that through the science channel, I’ll be able to help people learn science and enjoy it. While I’ll be doing the videos on my own, I’m hoping people will share the videos and help spread the word about my channel. I want to reach as wide an audience as possible. While I may be only one person, I hope I can change some minds about the importance of science.

I still have some work to do to prepare my new channel. I still need a name, and I’d like to work on a schedule for it. I plan on doing two videos a week. One talking about weekly science news stories, one doing specific topics to help educate people about science. I’ll focus mostly on astronomy, physics, biology, geology, and palaeontology.

So, who’s with me on this?

14 thoughts on “I Keep Coming Back to Teaching”

  1. theres no 12-step program to get people off teaching. i mean it would be doomed from the start– as soon as they started teaching people how to quit…

    some loves will never leave you be. perhaps we should be grateful for that.

  2. Nice goal. In addition to natural sciences I would offer “human life lessons” from philosophy and psychology as they help to understand not only the world around but within us, hopefully also helping to lead a good/better life. All the best from Tokyo (I’m still there:-))

    1. Well, I’m not sure if human life lessons would fit in with the theme. I’m not particularly interested in making videos on philosophy or psychology, so I wouldn’t be able to make very good videos on them.

  3. I think it’s great that you have moved forward with your teaching. So many in Japan get stuck in the English teaching rut. Your talents are better used at home (I presume) with a subject matter that requires even more talent in my opinion. I am sure teaching English in Japan has given you an edge. I use my English teaching methods in mentoring adults on matters of business. It is universal.

    1. Teaching English has definitely given me an edge. It taught me a lot of skills that I use in my job now. I’m a much better public speaker than I was, and I tend to use a lot of humour when I’m doing my planetarium shows or science demonstrations. It helps a lot.

  4. I like that you’re adding in the literacy part of your science channel. My two favorite science channels are Michael Steven’s Vsauce and Derek Muller’s Veritasium. Good luck and can’t wait to see it!

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