Summer is almost over, but that doesn’t mean the heat is! Welcome back to another edition of Alumni Spotlight, and as summer winds down, we begin to think about school again and maybe reminisce on our days of being teachers. If you’ve ever wondered how to use your teaching experience after JET, our next guest from Ohio has truly made his experience work for him. Daniel Stone has started his own tutoring company as well as working towards becoming a licensed teacher. Read on to find out more about his business and the many schools he taught at while on the JET Program.
Where are you from in Michigan or Ohio?
I have lived in Columbus, Ohio since 2010.
Where was your placement, and how long were you there?
I was an Assistant Language Teacher in Kawaguchi City, Saitama, 2004-2007.
What was your school setting like?
Being an ALT for a municipal board of education was interesting. I was dispatched to a dozen schools over the course of my three years on JET. Placement schools ranged from elementary schools (yes, ALTs were going to elementary schools even back then) to junior high schools.
My favorite time of the day was eating lunch with the students and playing basketball after school with the boy’s team. The JTE (Japanese Teacher of English) was the coach.
What is a memory you have in Japan that sticks out to you?
Going to as many schools as I did mean a lot of coming and going. At one elementary school, it was revealed that I was leaving at the end of the week. When I told the students that I would be back in a few months, the students began to cheer and chant, “see you next January” in Japanese. This memory sticks out for the way I was able to connect with the students and the positive way they responded to me.
What are you doing now that you have returned?
It took some time and a lot of soul searching, but I am on my way to becoming a fully licensed K-12 teacher in Ohio. I have taught technology classes full-time at Columbus Preparatory Academy since 2019. I also believe it is important to have diversified revenue streams since you never know when you will be downsized or no longer part of an organization’s future. In addition to teaching, I have run a tutoring business, Two Birds One Stone Learning (TBOSL) since 2014. TBOSL receives its strongest demand from the Japanese expatriates working in the automotive industry in the Midwest.
Do you have any future plans you’re working towards?
I am working towards obtaining my professional teaching license in two more years and continuing the tutoring business. There is a bit of a learning curve for online tutoring and I hope to be able to maximize the potential of the wider reach of potential students throughout the US.
What is something Japan-related you wish you could get involved with here in MI/OH?
I miss meeting with JET alumni when we had in-person meetings in Columbus before COVID.
What advice or help would you like to give to other GLJETAA alumni?
Two Birds One Stone Learning is always looking for JET alumni to serve as tutors with our youth and adult learners. Now that we are online and our students are okay with the remote learning platform, those residing inside or outside of Columbus are encouraged to inquire about tutoring opportunities.
What konbini food do you miss the most?
I miss sticks of crab meat filled with cheese and washing it down with a lemon-flavored Kirin Chuhai.
Where can we reach you for networking?
I can be reached through email. For employment opportunities, please visit Two Birds One Stone Learning’s website.
Daniel has been kind enough to pass along some opportunities for English tutoring, so take a look at his website and find something that interests you! And as Daniel mentioned, we are all looking forward to the day when we can meet in person again to share lemon chuhais and swap Japan stories, so stay safe and healthy, and we hope to see you all soon. Until our next edition, matane!
Alumni Spotlight is an outreach activity through the Great Lakes JET Alumni Association seeking to build stronger connections between alumni and to provide bridges for networking. If you or an alumnus you know would like to be featured in an installment of Alumni Spotlight, please email Andrew Esterline at email@example.com.