Yoko Yasuhara is a new Japanese teacher at Brookline High School. Yasuhara works part-time at the high school and part-time at a Japanese language school in Boston. Yasuhara enjoys several different hobbies including quilting, baking, cooking and different outdoor activities.
Yasuhara is very enthusiastic about teaching and sees it as her way of contributing to society. Sharing, exchanging new ideas and engaging the students in Japanese culture are important aspects of her teaching style.
“I wanted to introduce them and to understand it with each other as a global society,” said Yasuhara.
Yasuhara loves to teach fun facts about Japanese culture. She is a lover of different movies and anime series.
“I like “Spirited Away,” and also “Totoro,” or these kinds of series,” Yasuhara said.
Japanese food is one of Yasuhara’s favourite things to cook. She enjoys making rolls of sushi at home for her family. Yasuhara said that if anyone wants to learn how to make sushi, they shouldn’t be afraid to reach out; she is more than happy to teach them.
Yasuhara usually takes part in an international festival in Boston where she cooks different kinds of foods to share with others.
“We had an international festival and we made a green tea muffin, so I thought first for the kids that will like a green monster muffin. So it’s a little bit bitter but it’s very good, so it’s a big hit,” Yasuhara said.
The festival may not take place this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Yasuhara hopes they will reschedule as soon as possible. She enjoys the festival because it is a celebration of Japanese culture.
“We have a Japanese community in Boston… [We] held a Japanese festival around the end of April. They share some kind of food, culture,” Yasuhara said. “[There’s] dancing, also wearing the kimono. It’s fun stuff.”
Yasuhara also enjoys crafts, such as quilting and origami, in her spare time. She also loves riding her bike and playing tennis outdoors. Yasuhara played many sports in middle school and high school, including skiing and basketball.
Every couple years Yasuhara goes back to her hometown near Tokyo.
“Harajuku [a street in Tokyo] is also a very fun place. There’s a lot of anime and lot of cute stuff and sweet stuff, ice cream and cafe, it’s very fun to visit,” Yasuhara said.
Yasuhara enjoys teaching middle schoolers and highschoolers at both of her jobs. At the Japanese language school, Yasuhara teaches 5th graders. She said she enjoys working with them because of how quickly they are able to learn languages.
Yasuhara also values gratitude. She said that a simple sign of gratitude and respect like “thank you” can go a long way and is very rewarding. Yasuhara tries to include this value in her teaching by sharing gratitude with her students.
Yasuhara wants her students to know that success comes from making mistakes and asking for help.
“Practice makes perfect and that’s why I’m here. Please reach out anytime if you have some kind of a question. Please don’t hesitate, and the succeeding is from making mistakes,” Yasuhara said.