Montreal, Quebec (June 1, 2016) – CLC Montreal, a community minded language school, has launched a new scholarship aimed at giving an opportunity for a Teacher of English affected by a natural disaster, to receive intensive language training and cultural enrichment – not to mention personal renewal.
Akemi Hashiba was deeply affected by the devastating tsunami of 2011. The school where she taught English in Miyagi was lost, resulting in long-term (3 year) amalgamation with another one. Five years on, despite the turmoil and ongoing challenges, she continues to lift the spirits of all those around her through her own personal strength. Her dedication admirable, she inspires students with her passion for English, motivated by the potential role the language may play in their futures. In her own words, “Teaching English is not only my job, it’s my life’s work.”
For Hasiba-sensei, it is just not a subject to study, but an opportunity to achieve greater things for Japan. This is what Michael Beddows, an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) she works with, had to say about her. No wonder he nominated her for distinction.
CLC Montreal has always sought to support the Japanese community. Founded and staffed by former JET ALTs – each grateful for their experiences in Japan and endeared by the kindness of the people – the school has been involved in fundraising efforts since 2011. After collecting a modest sum, the team reflected on how to use the money in a meaningful way to bring about real change. As educators themselves, they thought of all the Japanese teachers of English, working diligently in difficult circumstances. From that seed, they decided to establish a scholarship, and the first one going to bring a teacher from Tohoku to Canada, for two weeks of intensive language training and cultural enrichment – not to mention personal renewal – all-inclusive.
The long term vision is about tapping potential and bringing Japan a brighter future. Through improving the teacher’s English skills, CLC believes that the teacher, and every student touched by that teacher, will have their possibilities expanded. Empowered with the ability to communicate with the world, they will be confident and inspired to fulfill their dreams with no limits… embracing opportunities brought by the 2020 Olympics and beyond.
Accessing the ALT community across the area that experienced the most devastation, CLC asked ALTs to nominate a teacher they thought deserving of the opportunity… and the response was great. Heartfelt letters came in speaking of admiration for their Japanese colleagues. Selecting among the candidates was difficult. The winner, Akemi Hashiba, embodies the spirit of the scholarship and all it hopes to achieve. She was chosen for her selflessness, dedication to teaching, passion for English and devotion to her students’ future. Michael Beddow’s eloquent words captured her essence well.
CLC Montreal is a language school based on humanistic principles that endeavors not just to help students develop linguistic tools, but also foster awareness, creativity, contribution and connection. The school believes in helping students and teachers thrive, in service of a greater good, to bring about positive change in the world. The Japanese Teacher of English Scholarship is an actualization of this principle.