Testimonials

A collection of some testimonials written by students I taught over the years.
 

Mrs. M always sees the best in people. She notices the unique characteristics and strengths of the students, and she knows how to bring them out. She inspires the students to explore the new world with her.

When Mrs. M first offered me a position to work with her on the TEDxJIS translation club, I was hesitant. I was not fluent in Korean, and starting a new club seemed quite… scary, especially with no background in the field. However, she guided me step by step in building the routine of the club. Her adventurous mindset and passion for learning are contagious! I am still volunteering as a translator on the official TED team. I will cherish every step we took to learn about a new platform, look for shortcuts, and build a strong program. She is one of the adults I truly trust and can share my personal thoughts. She accepts the student’s true self and chooses to always highlight the best parts of them. Working with her has made me become a better version of myself. 

Also, Mrs. M is willing to make the most of every situation. Due to personal circumstances, I had to transition from face-to-face meetings to virtual/online meetings. The transition was so smooth that I never noticed the difference. She was as passionate and devoted as ever, if not more. She was always on time. It is only on the very rare occasions when she would send a quick message to notify of a short delay. These delays never affected my meetings because Mrs. M was always communicative and organized. I have no doubt that her endless desire to learn and teach will always be remembered and respected by her students. Personally, I will forever cherish her feedback and implement it in my written work as I enter university life.

~ Lucy, Korean, 2017-2020

 

Mrs. M, from her passion in the classroom to her creative and open intellectual knowledge about the world, created the most ideal learning environment known to man, looking at the impact of her teaching structure and how it influenced me. 
I came from a very unmotivating public school in Australia. I had no interest nor the awareness of the importance of education. Once I moved over to the Jakarta Intercultural School, Mrs. M shined the light on the importance of not only learning  from the structured environment, but also on the influence we have within ourselves to teach and express events and the lessons that were learnt throughout our lives and correlate them back into the current subject. 
Doing that, Mrs M created a very strong motivating drive for all students to really be engaged in what was being taught, creating a very emotionally invested class. With a diverse mix of culture that structure of learning really brought everyone together, students personally opening up slowly throughout the year which was extremely rewarding. 
In the world we live in today, that “lone wolf” approach is more ideal to most than “teamwork”. Mrs. M made sure that no matter where you came from and what financial position you stood at, we could all see eye-to-eye and could relate to one another and team up and get the task done. 
Mrs. M put me on the track of becoming a teacher myself. Seeing there are so few teachers like herself, I ensure current communication with Mrs. M for the drive and help needed to pursue this career. I’ve seen so many structured teachers in my life time but no one has ever come close to the reality of true learning and influence to becoming a leader like how Mrs. M has physically shown and  taught us. I will be using the knowledge and experiences Mrs. M taught me for the rest of my life, I can be sure of that. 
~ Ryan Bennett, Australian, 2018-2019

Mrs. M is such a unique teacher that likes to try out new things. I’ve been her secret fan since 9th grade, as she was such a powerful teacher and very inspirational. She has motivated me to be more brave and be adventurous to enjoy life. I remember she was a helpful teacher in and outside of class.  Once when I was going to teach English in the summer, and she helped and advised me how to plan a lesson that is suitable for non-English speakers. It was memorable for me because I didn’t expect teachers would help so much with my service project, but she did, despite being so busy. Another thing is just her class in general. Mrs. M’s class was never boring and all classes were meaningful and exciting. Her lessons were interactive and she never let students feel bored in class.

~ Riwa Tamai, Japanese, 2014-2018, three years in two courses including two-year IB English B

 

 

I remember you as a teacher who not only taught me about English but also as a teacher who taught me about the world, and what it means to be an individual. You gave me a lot of life lessons to remember by! I remember writing an essay and you reading it to check the grammar, but the feedback you gave me was not only about the structure of the essay, but more than that. You shared with me about how you felt reading my essay and really cared about my writing on a personal level. I thought that was very nice as writing an essay is something personal and not always easy to share.

~ Arisa, Japanese-Indonesian, 2015-2016

 

You were very passionate, enthusiastic, kindhearted, patient and loving to your students, especially me. You are truly an inspiring teacher. You have the true heart and passion for what you teach to your students. I admire all the love, patience, kindness, and care you have with everyone. Do not stop teaching, because you are such a wonderful teacher to students, and you help them learn a lot. You are also an admirable positive person with an upright attitude. I love you to the moon and back again.

~ Samuel Abraham Sianturi, Indonesian, 2014-2015

 

 

I remember that you were very passionate about what you taught. You understand that some students need more time to do a project, and you accommodated me with that need. When I did not perform at my best, I remember you allowed me to repeat/ re do the performance, and you gave me feedback on how to do it best. There are so many other things that you did and I loved – I think I chose the Communications and Human Services major also because I participated in your class and did the activities. I also did not like reading much (I still don’t), but I still talk about two books which I finished reading because of your class. I think it is because you taught us serious and critical issues at our age, and this is what makes your classes super interesting.

~ Anneesha Uno, Indonesian, 2014-15, two-year IB English B

 

 

During the freshman, junior and senior years of high school, I took English lessons with you.

I remember you as an English teacher asking me to work on my grammar in the classroom. This event was particularly memorable for me because you discovered many grammatical errors in my papers.

After school, we worked on improving my grammar twice a week. As a result, my grammar improved and I felt confident that I could write in fluent English.

~ Tobin Peter Zolkowski, Indonesian-American deaf-mute student, 2013-2016, three years in two courses including two-year IB English B

 

 

Mrs. M is one of the best teachers I’ve ever met in my life. She is caring, dedicated and passionate. She shows full commitment to enhancing non-native and native students’ English skills throughout the class and other activities. She pays very close attention and gives you the shrewdest advice. The fact that she is a non-native speaker makes non-native students comfortable because she truly understands their situations. I was in her IB English B HL class when TEDx began in our school. I was not comfortable speaking in front of a big audience; however, Mrs. M forced me to join it as a non-native speaker. I hesitated to take this opportunity at the beginning. But now I know that it gave me such an amazing experience which now makes me confident to speak out in my university.

Another memorable event was when she told me about a summer homestay program in an English speaking country. She pointed to my speaking skills, that I couldn’t talk spontaneously. I went to Australia and stayed in this British family’s host house, and my speaking skills improved a lot.

~ Mana Kakinuma, Japanese, 2011-2015, four years in three courses including two-year IB English B

 

 

I remember you as a mentor. You were super nice and equal to every single student.

Any time I asked you a question, you always taught me specifically and understandably.

Going to the local school every Saturday and donating TVs, pencils, plants for the kids and the school, for which we collected the money from the fundraising activities were very precious memories for me.

Thank you for teaching us and being the best teacher for such long years!!

Hopefully I can be your online student! My English skill has been getting worse since I came back to Japan!

~ Yuka, Japanese, 2011-2012, two-year IB English B

 

 

You were more than just a teacher for me. Even if it were only for one class, you were an unforgettable mentor who was always there for her students when they asked you for help. As a teacher, you never limit your students’ capabilities. Instead, you push them further outside their comfort zone, beyond their own expectations.

~ Marie Peguilhan, French, 2010

 

 

You are the teacher who turned my least favorite subject into a much more fun and engaging activity. Without you I would have never found the joy in learning English. I still remember many sessions when you gave us the opportunity to step up and speak in front of a real audience, invited guests. Those practices really allowed me to gain a lot of confidence in speaking English.

~ Ruofei Du, Chinese, 2009-2013, four years in three courses including two-year IB English B.

 

 

Mrs. M has always been a wonderful teacher since the first day of the class, both talented with the command of the language and experienced in teaching students with a wide range of international backgrounds. More specifically, her classes were often arranged in a way that combines the main material of the course, such as poetry or storytelling, with a focus on a real life topic, such as human trafficking or social justice. In this way, besides practicing the specific format and style for the purpose of the class, we felt attached to the piece of writing through personal interest or further research and motivated to continue on writing and think critically about the topic. With these crucial skills taught and trained by Mrs. M throughout the high school years, I changed from a typical Chinese middle school student barely capable of writing a short paragraph to a student able to succeed in all the literature, philosophy and history classes that involve a great deal of researching and various styles of writing in college as a physics major. 

We learnt from Mrs. M a great deal as a mentor, from her past experience and pieces of life wisdom that she often shared with us during and after the class. Her advice and teachings continuously guide us through our lives in one way or another.

One time in class, we were practicing with writing and delivering speeches. The topic was on social justice with reference to dystopian novels and totalitarian regimes. When talking about equality and fairness in terms of distribution of resources, Mrs. M made a point by asking a simple yet intriguing question, “if one of you is better in math and the other more talented in art, would giving you both a calculator and a drawing pen be a ‘fair’ use of resources for the society?” The answer can evolve into a lengthy essay on egalitarianism and utilitarianism, but more importantly, the point is that Mrs. M constantly promotes and encourages this kind of critical thinking from the students in her class and that’s why I remain very fond of her after all these years.

~ Liangyu Chen, Chinese, 2009-2013, four years in three courses including two-year IB English B.

 

 

I thought you as the most reliable teacher in school because you were the only person that let me have any mistakes in assignments in English. And through those mistakes I made in your English class, I could gradually learn accurate grammar and vocabulary and so on…  So your class was the place where I felt calm.

~ Yohana Minoura, Japanese, 2008-2011, three years in two courses including two-year IB English B

 

 

It’s been over 10 years so I’m a bit hazy on details but I never dreaded English the way I usually would when I had Mrs. M as my teacher. English has always been one of my least favourite school subjects but Mrs. M was one of my favourite teachers in high school, and I think it takes a really special teacher to make me enjoy attending a course that I don’t like. In a later year I put Mrs. M down as one of the teachers I wanted as my mentor but her group was completely full – I think that speaks volumes to how special she was to other students as well.

~ Kristopher, Australian, 2008

 

 

You were my advisor and Teacher Aide supervisor. I will never forget that message you wrote in my journal. “You are a born teacher.” I always come back to this whenever I need encouragement, support, and guidance. Looking back, I still can’t believe you trusted me with taking over a class that one day. Such a great experience, and still so very thankful for it.

~ Yuki, Japanese, 2004-2005

 

 

I remember you as a mentor and a teacher – a teacher who sincerely wishes for her students to be less handicapped in English. I also liked that on every draft submitted, you really put effort and time in writing comments and so on. I guess, without you I would have never achieved success in English! :)) I became so confident in English after taking your class. And by “success,” I mean I have an English lang and lit degree from university, and I completed 6 months internship in one of the largest English newspaper companies in Korea!

~ Youkyoung Alice Hong, Korean, 2001

 

 

After 10 years in Japanese School, moving to an International High School was the scariest thing, mainly because of the language and cultural barrier. Mrs. M made this transition easy and fun. She created content that students enjoy so much we often didn’t realize how much language and new culture we were learning. Mrs. M’s teaching approach boosted students’ confidence because she made us feel motivated and comfortable practicing and speaking in English we can immediately use.

The most memorable thing she did was bringing me out of my shell. I don’t think she knows how much impact she had on me. I was a shy girl before I met her but by the second year of her English class, I remember I shocked my class mates and myself when I gave a presentation by dancing and rapping along to my slides. Mrs. M is an unparalleled educator and presenter who can blend serious insight and solid study into a form that is exciting and engaging – I learned so much more than just English language from her. High School was the best time because of her and while her extensive knowledge and rich experience definitely helped my education, it is her heart and enthusiasm that I truly appreciate and cherish even 22 years later, today.

~ Chiko Kitaoka, Japanese, 1995-1996

 

 

I remember the Enriched English class and the ESOL Video club. More than 20 years have passed but I still remember that you were a passionate and a fair teacher.

~ Sam Yoo, Korean, 1994-1995

 

 

You are a very supportive and patient teacher who always has passion and support for all students.  After one year in ESOL, when I cried with regret about failing the ESOL exit exam, you wept with me and hugged me in your arms. You gave me the strength to challenge myself to succeed on the next exam.

~ Shiho, Japanese, 1991-1992

 

 

I remember meetings at your home for the ESOL Video Club. You were always kind and funny, and you taught us English from everyday details.

~ Po Chun Tu, Chinese, 1990-1991

 

 

The thing I remember about most you as a teacher in class is your distinctly clear English.  This is very important when your students are learning English as second language. Surprising numbers of English teachers speak unclearly.  Or at least their English is very unclear to non-native English speakers. Your English was always very clear, the tone of your voice, pronunciation, and your instructions were all clear and easy to understand. Also, you would often stop in mid-sentence to explain words (you often said “in other words….”, ) and this helped me a lot to understand what was discussed. I still remember a lot about you, you are one of the best teachers I have had in my entire life.  I was very lucky to be taught by you.

~ Yumiko Morita, Japanese, 1989-1990

 

 

It’s all about learning how to learn in the 21st century.  It’s about helping students to go beyond the plain intellectual intelligence (IQ), but to also develop their

– social intelligence

– emotional intelligence

– creative intelligence

– intelligence of instinct and action

Beata, you are one of a kind by recognizing this ahead of time and by also teaching your students accordingly for already many years.

Of course you taught us amazing English, but I realize today that your passion and vision actually brought us even more:  The class work, English movie nights, special projects, team work and using innovative learning technology allowed us to be truly ready for the 21st century.  Your style allowed us to become our best, motivating us to help shape a better world.

You are a master of all shades of English, but your DNA to coach each student to grow and discover all their skills really sets you apart.

~ Kai Gritschke, German, 1984-1986

 

I remember you as a kind and determined teacher. Within half a year I was out of the ESOL programme and my command of English has been an asset to me for life.

The ESOL movie club was definitely a highlight and something special. Another memorable event was that you taught us Dutch kids how to dance in clogs for the UN day performance!

If I have to write about one incident it must be when I had lost my down payment on the school yearbook. In those days Rp20,000 was still a tidy sum of money. Not only did you console me, but you also wrote me a very kind message which helped me find the money for the year book. Thank you so much, I never forgot!

~ Camiel de Leeuw, Dutch, 1984-1985

 

I remember I learned a lot from you and you were a great teacher with a passion for learning. I pray for your success and please let us know when you are already teaching online. My kids need to learn with you!

~ Mika Matsuo, Japanese, 1983-1984

© 2020 by Beata Mirecka Jakubowska.

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