宿主vs高校生 A guesthouse owner and high school students

おしごと Owner's Works

In addition to my work at the guesthouse, I occasionally give lectures at local schools. The themes are international cooperation, career planning, tourism, etc.

At the end of the lecture, I prepare the time for question and answer, but most of the students don’t raise their hands. It is easy to chalk up the lack of questions to a problem for the students: they are not listening, they are not thinking, they are not able to speak in front of others, etc. However, if they really think nothing and do not have any questions, then it is clearly a problem for the lecturer who gives a boring lecture. Conversely, even if the students listen attentively and have questions, the lecturer can not receive them, so the method should be changed.

Takamatsu Sakurai High School is a school where I have been giving talks on the theme of “the meaning of studying in high school” for about 10 years now. During the lecture, everyone had seemed to be listening to me rather attentively, but no one had raised a hand to ask a question.

So, for the first time, I decided that the students who had questions could write them on a piece of paper and put them in an envelope passed around from the back of the line, and I would answer the collected questionnaires on the spot. Questions were to be unsigned and having questions was not forced. Even so, I expected that almost no questions would be asked, so I set aside only 5 minutes each for writing and answering.

The result was, as you see in the picture above, a lot of questionnaires. It was not an amount that could be answered in 5 minutes. Almost all students wrote their own questions and worries after listening to and thinking about my lecture as their own business. The teachers also were surprised at that.

For the first time in decades, I brought home “homework” from school. Some of the questions were duplicates, but I wrote my own answers, or replies, to basically each question and submitted them via email to the teacher. It took a few days.

After graduating from high school, I immersed myself in Mongolia at university, experienced a salesman and a volunteer for rural development in Senegal, and have been running Guest House Wakabaya for nine years. I hope that such a 40-year-old guy could continue to speak to and listen to high school students.