Get to know: Sophia Fujino, Head of Department – Humanities

How do you think a teacher can make a difference to a student’s life? Can you share examples from your teaching career?

“Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” This is a famous quote from George Bernard Shaw. And in every essence, it does not live up to its statement.

A true teacher has a choice and they choose to teach because they know they can be a mere vibration or a big tremor in influencing a student’s life. They should teach because they ‘do’ and the students will take this influence as they are given that role model. And that is how the teacher makes a difference to a student’s life – by giving them the opportunity to choose the values and role-modelling exemplified by the teacher.

For me, every time a student shows respect when speaking about conflicts and global issues, every time a student is able to defend a good cause with empathy and every time a student is able to enlighten others with positive perspectives, it is an accomplishment for the teacher.

 What makes you passionate about your subject / specialisation? How do you foster an interest in this subject in students?

I teach Humanities and I am very passionate about it because I want my students to be able to think critically and question for themselves and for the world. The idea that we are “same same but different” brings about a lot of conflict in this world and it is the duty of our students to understand these conflicts and prevent them or bring about betterment. I foster their interests by provoking their thoughts and encouraging them to explore these new ideas.

What does a day at work look like for you (as an HoD and teacher)? What do you enjoy about it?

Start with a cup of coffee. Look at the matters to be resolved during the day. Then prepare for teaching and also look at tasks related to students’ assessments, well-being and learning. Effort is also put into problem-solving and communicating. The most enjoyable task, of course, is interacting with students, colleagues and parents.

What do you hope OWIS students will remember about you?

The moments and conversations we have shared.

Who was your most memorable teacher and why?

My most memorable teacher was my English Literature teacher. He used to head the rugby team and was very fierce and strict. But at the same time, he reached out to his students and tried to understand who they were as people and not just as students.

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