“I am from Japan, but the Marshall Islands is my second home,” Daishiro Taniguchi told the Journal before his departure for Japan last week. Taniguchi taught secondary math for two years as a Japan International Cooperation Agency volunteer, and returned to work as a math specialist for the Public School System at the Ministry of Education for three more years.
During a farewell courtesy call to Japan Ambassador Norio Saito, Taniguchi was presented with a certificate of appreciation for achieving outstanding contribution and active engagement in education.
For Taniguchi, the RMI was the first foreign country he worked in. Prior to teaching here he taught part-time at a cram school in Japan. In the span of five years he gained real world experience through what he deems was a balanced “give and take” where he taught students and trained teachers who in turn gave him unforgettable lifelong lessons. These also included local lessons in bottom fishing, spear fishing, Christmas biit dancing, and carrying a conversation in Marshallese.
When asked what he will miss the most Taniguchi answered without hesitation, “My students.” He was thankful to have witnessed several of his students from Laura High School and Marshall Islands High School working hard and succeeding after graduation. In Taniguchi’s experience effort goes a long way.
If people believe they can do math, even if they meet difficult problems, they will be able to do them step-by-step, he said. It is the mindset of an individual that will lead them to success, said Taniguchi. He will be teaching secondary math upon his return to Japan.
Read more about this in the March 1, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands.