Let your voice be heard to the world.
What is "Teacher Identity"?
Teacher identity is constituted with a certain value or belief in the profession of "teacher". Teachers of Japan focuses on is your educational value as a teacher, not representing any cultural or national values for the teaching profession.
What "elements" make you be a "teacher"?
The "element" you find in you is your teacher identity.
Teacher identity is generally a mixture of multiple identities and is not necessarily a single one. Each person has a different identity depending on how, when, and where it was generated for them.
Whatever educational value you believe is “important” from your own experience is your “Teacher Identity”.
Teacher Identity at Stake
Being aware of your identity is one of the critical qualities for teachers.
However, in a busy educational setting, teachers tend to put their time and energy to tackle the work in front of them less prioritizing the opportunity to think about their educational values as a teacher.
Teacher identity is said to be constructed based on positive experience as a teacher. The more successful experiences you have, the more solid educational values you are expected to obtain. However, it also means that the more work that doesn't align with the educational values you engage at work, the more likely you are to fail to discover your teacher identity.
Japanese teachers have a lower percentage of time to teach lessons compared internationally, and they tend to be occupied with many different tasks other than teaching. In the traditional "Reading the Air" (Kuki wo yomu) culture of Japan, even teachers themselves might not necessarily have been asked to discover their professional identity.
It is critical to ask why teachers teach what they teach, and what educational values teachers wish to teach their students. If you are not sure about your teacher identity, please take some personal time to reflect on the teaching career you have been through, and the educational values that you have carried with you along the way.
Education is changing not only in Japan but all over the world.
If education changes, so do teachers.
What kind of change do you see making in your class/school?
What kind of values do you want to continue teaching?
Please let us know at the Teachers of Japan.
Teacher Identity as Empowerment
Why Teacher Identity?
The process of discovering your teacher identity can be a long journey.
You may encounter a side of the story that you didn't really want to reflect on, but at the same time, you may rediscover your passion, great memories, and precious values that have been forgotten.
Your educational values and the way you teach may change or have evolved over time as you gain professional career and as society constantly changes.
This is a journey for you to talk with your teacher-self. This is not a quest for others, but for yourself.
If you find it difficult to discover your educational values, please read the stories of teachers on this website. It helps you find "your" teacher Identity.
When you succeed in describing who you are as a teacher in your own words, you will feel much comfortable and confident being a teacher than before, and that you can engage in daily educational activities with clearer goals.
Please discover or rediscover your passion, power, and joy of teaching as a Teacher of Japan.
Because it's you who make meaning in education.