Feb 23, 2017

The Adventures of Banana Teacher - 01 Origins

I love being a teacher. It's what I've always wanted to be (unless you count ninja princess as a profession). When I first came to Japan, I spoke zero Japanese. I literally knew nothing about their writing system or pronunciation. I figured that I'd work it out and that it wouldn't affect my everyday life, but boy did it ever. What I didn't know, but I am very well aware of now, is that there is no "V" sound in Japanese. So my name, which starts with a "V" got changed to "B". When my boss introduced me to my first class of rowdy 2nd graders, he said, "This is Banesa-sensei," which sounded to the kids like "Banana-sensei". They, of course, thought that this was the best thing since sliced bread and I forever became known as "Banana-sensei" or "Banana-teacher". I've learned to embrace it and now I turn it into a joke when I meet new students. It has become a way to bond with them though humor. 

The Adventures of Banana Teacher - 01 Origins photo



I am a kindergarten teacher, wife, and mother. I love living in Japan!


  • SalarymanJim

    on Feb 23

    Great stuff! It's important to embrace this kind of thing and go with it. Well done you. I really like the simple things that kids can find so funny. And humour is a great way to bond. When we laugh it's perhaps the most honest expression of how we feel at the time, and it's difficult to fake. Did you know yesterday was 'Ninja Day' in Japan? I've literally just read that in the news somewhere.

  • DaveJpn

    on Feb 24

    I agree with the sentiment here. Definitely a 'must' to go with the flow and enjoy this kind of humor from students. You could go crazy otherwise.

  • kcsantosh

    on Mar 1

    First of all I liked the title of your post "Banana Teacher", very catchy one. Looks fun whenever you go to school and meet with those kids. :)