Posted: 18th Jan 2024
みなさん、こんにちは！明けましておめでとうございます！(Mina-san, konnichiwa! Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu!)
Hi everyone and happy new year!
At the start of each year, I tend to write a post on my blog about what you can expect from Ippo Ippo in the coming 12 months. However, as I’ve been enjoying making the odd video here and there, this year I’m giving it a go in video format. I hope you enjoy it! I have, unusually, made a bit of a script for this video, so if my eyes are going all over the place then that’s why. Sorry.
2023 was a really big year for my Japanese teaching. I ran several group courses, including two N5 prep courses in early 2023 and three progressive levels of Japanese for Beginners alongside my one-to-one teaching. I also created a YouTube channel where I posted the first part of my Anytime Japanese for Beginners course, ran several social events in Edinburgh, and, very excitingly, was able to hear all sorts of stories from students who were finally able to visit Japan after a long period of being blocked by Covid restrictions.
As anyone who is subscribed to my newsletter will know, the end of 2023 was somewhat bittersweet for me. Five years into my career as a Japanese teacher and three years into doing it full time, I had to make some difficult decisions – largely for financial reasons, but also simply due to some other changes in my life. Namely, it became clear by around September time that being a full-time tutor simply wasn’t sustainable for me, both financially and in terms of my energies and some of the challenges that I face as an autistic person. Running your own business isn’t easy for anyone, but I ended 2023 knowing that I’d put my all into trying to make it work and with the feeling that perhaps it was time to try something new.
Now: this is not me saying goodbye or that I’m quitting my work as a Japanese tutor. In fact, I have instead decided to – for now – cut it down to one day a week of teaching – at the moment, Thursdays. I started jobhunting in October and was lucky enough to find another job doing something different – totally different – Monday to Wednesday, which gives me Friday for other top-secret projects which have nothing to do with Japanese, I’m afraid!
And, I don’t know, when I’ve tried to explain all of this to some people in my life, I think they’ve found it a little bit confusing, a bit vague perhaps. Why am I suddenly jumping ship to a totally different line of work three days a week? But actually for me, this is something that feels really really positive on a personal level, and I’m really enjoying the variety that it’s brought to my working week.
Teaching just one day a week has taken some of the pressure off my need to pull in a full income via self-employment, and recently I’ve just been feeling a lot fresher for lessons. Not just that, but I also feel like it’s freed up some energy and headspace for doing things like social events, which I just have always wanted to be part of what I offer as a tutor, but I didn’t have the capacity for them previously – at least not to the extent that I’d like to be able to do them. Reducing things to one day a week may mean I have less time for the blog, newsletter, videos, but I do intend to keep these ticking over as well, because I enjoy them and there are always little bits and pieces of study advice, fun facts or other handy info I’m keen to share with you all.
As with anything, everything that I’ve just said may well change in the coming year, but overall that’s where I’m at right now.
So, to sum up: what you can expect from Ippo Ippo in 2024 is three things: one day of lessons per week (if you’d like to join my waiting list then please do get in touch); more social events happening in Edinburgh, and the odd newsletter update, blog post or video.
If you’re in Edinburgh, you might also be wondering about the Japanese Book Club. I am hoping to get this up and running again, but Hitomi-san and I still are just working on the details, so watch this space.
If you want to find out about any of that stuff, as always my newsletter is the best way to keep up to date with things. But I think that’s pretty much everything!
So thank you for listening, thank you so much for your support in 2023 – and I mean that most of all to my students, but to anyone who has contacted me or donated perhaps to show support for the newsletter and blog – and here’s to an excellent 2024.
今年もどうぞよろしくお願いします (kotoshi mo dōzo yoroshiku o-negai shimasu).
Bye for now!
By the way, can we please take a moment to admire this beautiful sign provided by my student Jack? Jack provided this totally for free towards the end of last year and it’s been such a gorgeous addition to my Zoom background for teaching and, you know, in these videos. So yeah: thank you to Jack and also his wife Grace. Together, they run Rutland Laser Company, which I will put a little tag for their socials up here. Do check them out. And that is the actual end of the video! Goodbye for now. じゃあね (jaa ne).
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