Patriot Profile: Liberty welcomes world traveling teacher Motoko Abe to the faculty

Logan Allan, Online Editor

On the first day of this school year, Japanese and Guided Study students were welcomed into Portable 3 with the bright and kind smile of world traveling teacher Motoko Abe.
Abe has lived in many places, including Japan, Canada, and America, and is bringing a unique perspective to the Liberty community.
“I was born and raised in the Niigata prefecture, which is in the northern part of Japan. I then got married and moved to Canada, where I lived in Toronto, Vancouver B.C., and Ontario,” Abe said.
After living in Canada, Abe moved to America, where she lived in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Iowa, Tennessee, Texas, and finally, Washington.
“It’s very interesting here in America, because equal opportunity and equal chances are given to me here. I really appreciate that, but what I don’t appreciate very much about America is the crime rate. The news here can be very dark and unsettling,” Abe said, “And that’s why Tokyo was my favorite place to live. It was exciting and vibrant, but also very safe.”
In the years that Abe has been a teacher, she has taught different levels and ages at both public and private schools.
“As I have traveled and lived and worked in so many different places, I find myself drawn to public schools to see the true American or the true citizen of that country,” Abe said. “I like the diversity and the differences between students in public school.”
As she has traveled the world, one school at a time, she has developed a unique teaching philosophy so that her students feel comfortable, and so that she feels comfortable with them as well.
“Before I teach any of the material I want my students to trust me first,” Abe said. “Feeling safe comes from trust. It is not necessary to be liked by my students, but it is necessary for me to be trusted by my students because I want them to feel safe with me.”
Abe has high hopes for her students, and wants to provide a more challenging course for her most dedicated students that involves not only the language of Japanese, but also the culture.
“AP Japanese will be one target for me for the students who would like to put in the effort to have a little higher understanding in culture, speaking, writing, and reading,” Abe said.