Brazilian Woman's Dream to Teach Comes TrueFourth Generation Japanese Descendant Becomes Lecturer in Shiga Prefecture5 April 2015 - Education/University
Tazima Diana Nathalli, a 22-year-old Brazilian national living in Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture, has been assigned a new post at Azai Junior High School in the same city this month. According to the Shiga Prefectural Board of Education, she is the first Brazilian teacher recruited for a public school in the prefecture. She has been hired a as a full-time lecturer rather than as a regular teacher due to her not being a Japanese citizen. Regardless, she is excited, saying, "I am happy that I have realized my dream of becoming a teacher in Shiga Prefecture, the place that I love so much."
Ms. Tazima is a fourth-generation Japanese descendant born in Brazil. Her father is Italian-Brazilian and her mother is Japanese-Brazilian. She came to Nagahama City, Japan when she was four years old. Having aspired to be a teacher since her elementary school days, she enrolled in the Faculty of Education, Shiga University. At first she was aiming to be a nursery teacher, but during her student-teaching at a junior high school, she had a rewarding sense of satisfaction in English education. So she changed her goal to becoming an English teacher.
She is trilingual, using her native language, Portuguese, when speaking with her family, and is also fluent in English and Japanese. She thinks a junior high school is where she can make full use of that ability.
She chose to be a junior high school teacher because she wants to "find and praise students for their good points during their most difficult stage of adolescence."
She herself has had the experience of feeling distressed in her junior high school days. As she had a complex about being treated as a foreigner, she did not speak Portuguese with her mother when she visited her at school. "I could not take advantage of my good points, but instead, killed them," she said, looking back. "Now I am proud to be Brazilian. My good pronunciation is my strong point. Because I have realized that, I can get back on my feet even when I feel disheartened."
According to the school guidance section of the prefectural educational board, there are 975 foreign pupils who need help in learning Japanese in public schools in the prefecture, based on a survey in the 2012 academic year. The number of pupils who speak Portuguese as their first language is 636, which is the fourth largest in Japan, following Aichi, Shizuoka and Mie Prefectures. The school personnel section of the educational board has high expectations for her, saying, "We hope she will serve as a bridge for foreign students in the future."
Ms. Tazima is the thirteenth teacher of foreign nationality in the prefecture since the teacher employment exams were opened to foreigners in 1992. Like other regular teachers, Ms. Tazima passed the examination, but she will be a "full-time lecturer without fixed term of appointment" due to not holding Japanese citizenship. She said, "It is frustrating to be a mere lecturer even though I passed the same examination. I would like to be registered as a regular teacher someday so that I can tell Brazilian children that they can become anything depending on their efforts."(translated by Galileo, Inc.)
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