NIS Stories

Meet Our Educators: A Snapshot of the Passionate Teachers Guiding Your Child's Learning Journey

Life can look like outside of the classroom

Faculty members at Nagoya International School (NIS) bring a unique perspective, having experienced the challenges and triumphs of moving to Japan and having an insider’s look at how learning happens at our school. Their insights offer a unique understanding of our school's excellence and welcoming atmosphere, as well as what life can look like outside of the classroom. 

Read on to learn more about what it’s like to teach at NIS, from a collection of new teachers with a fresh perspective on moving to Japan.


Meet Anissa and Meghan: A Chance Encounter to New Experiences

At NIS, the ethos of inclusivity, respect for individuality, and the celebration of diversity form an essential part of our holistic approach to learning. This sentiment resonates deeply with Meghan and Anissa, a teaching couple at NIS whose own path reflects our school’s commitment to fostering a community that values holistic student growth.

Meet Anissa and Meghan

Meghan, a passionate preschool teacher nurturing minds in the ELC, and Anissa, an inclusivity specialist catering to the educational needs of secondary students, both came from the US and fell in love with Japan immediately despite it not being their first choice.

Driven by a desire to teach internationally, the couple had a chance encounter at an international school job fair that shaped their future. Having had the opportunity to meet Head of School Matthew Parr, his enthusiasm for the school immediately drew them in. Combined with their excitement for an international experience, Anissa and Meghan eventually found themselves on their way to Japan to begin a new chapter in their lives together. 

“We never really thought that we would end up in Japan. NIS is the reason that we're here, not necessarily Japan itself. Japan is amazing, and I do understand why people dream of living in Japan. But we just wanted to get to NIS”, says Meghan.

Anissa’s role as an inclusivity specialist provides a unique perspective of the academic experience at NIS, and how our school aims to make education inclusive rather than exclusive. NIS prioritizes understanding each student’s unique profile, ensuring they can thrive within the NIS community. This approach emphasizes adaptation, collaboration with teachers, and a genuine effort to accommodate diverse learning needs - a stellar feature of any school. 

“One of the unique aspects of NIS is how it supports individuality. Students are encouraged to explore their interests, and teachers willingly adapt their methods to cater to each child’s needs.”

Anissa NIS

Meghan echoes this sentiment. Though she works with much younger students than Anissa, she has witnessed how NIS fosters a student-centric environment, encouraging agency and voice in their learning journeys, even for the youngest of students. The Reggio Emilia approach in ELC emphasizes student-driven learning, a shift from traditional teacher-centered approaches.

“Students here truly have the space to shine in their own way. Whether through clubs, events, or even expressing themselves linguistically, there’s a sense of belonging and pride that comes from being accepted for who you are.”

Meghan NIS

Beyond academics, NIS places emphasis on a well-rounded education that transcends borders. The school's commitment to international mindedness empowers students to understand, respect, and celebrate diverse perspectives, languages, and cultures. This environment nurtures young minds into responsible global citizens.

"In Japan, the idea of group mentality is prevalent, but at NIS, we encourage individuality. This equips students to stand out while valuing others' uniqueness," Anissa explains.

As they continue their journey at NIS, Meghan and Anissa are excited to contribute to shaping a future where acceptance, compassion, and individuality stand as pillars of strength, creating a positive impact that transcends borders.


Meet Justin and Colleen: Embracing the Adventure

Equipped with international teaching experience in California, Angola, and South Korea, Physical and Health Education (PHE) teacher Justin and ELC Preschool teacher Colleen also arrived in Japan only a few months ago, but have packed in a multitude of experiences for their family in this short time. 

Drawn to Japan by a desire to teach internationally again and to immerse their children in a diverse cultural environment, the family of five packed their bags and completed what felt like mountains of paperwork to move their family across the world to start a new adventure.

“We always planned to return abroad when our youngest was ready for preschool. Japan felt like the right place, especially considering how safe it is here,” says Justin. Japan is well known for being a safe country, consistently ranking as one of the safest countries in the world.

Meet Justin and Colleen: Embracing the Adventure

At NIS, the family found a unique synergy—both Justin and Colleen work at the school where their children attend. This proximity has cultivated a close-knit bond between the family and the school community. In fact, Colleen, currently teaches her youngest son, and while that has its challenges, the close interaction enhances their home-to-school connection.

"It's our first time teaching at our kids' school, offering opportunities to witness their little moments and attend their events effortlessly,” says Justin. “Despite being far from home, the sense of community here is remarkable. Celebrating Thanksgiving or Diwali together creates a strong bond with the community.”

Reflecting on their international teaching experience, they share insights into life at NIS compared to previous schools. "NIS is a vibrant community. The atmosphere of togetherness is striking," says Colleen.

Their exploration of Japan extends beyond the classroom. Nagoya, steeped in history, offers a rich cultural experience. Justin's martial arts background finds resonance in Nagoya's historical significance, while Colleen admires the city's harmony with nature.

In only a few short months into their time in Japan, the family has checked off numerous Japanese experiences, including Legoland, a Samurai parade and festival, Ghibli Park, eating uniquely Japanese treats, roller coaster rides, and hiking Nagoya’s mountains.

“Our kids already have a lifetime of memories,” says Justin.  

While not all families may be as adventurous as Justin and Colleen, they have some advice for aspiring expats looking to take the leap to living in Japan.

"Be open to everything. Embrace the adventure. It's an opportunity to learn, grow, and create lifelong memories,” they say. 

At NIS, Justin and Colleen have found not just a workplace but a nurturing community filled with exciting opportunities for their whole family. 


An Insider’s Look at Learning at NIS

The teachers at Nagoya International School represent a diverse array of experiences and perspectives, much like that of the family community. These teachers, educators, and staff members not only facilitate academic excellence but also embody the core values that prepare students to thrive in a globalized world. At NIS, the community's enthusiasm for teaching and learning creates an environment where every student's unique identity is celebrated, contributing to a rich tapestry of cultural exchange and personal growth.

Embrace the Adventure at NIS.

Join a community where our students Inquire, Inspire, and Impact the world around them. Inquire today at Nagoya International School.

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