Yurika Ogawa helps to teach Japanese

Have you ever traveled somewhere for a job? How about overseas? Well, Yurika Ogawa has, and she came to teach at CVHS. 

Japanese teacher assistant Ogawa came all the way from Japan just to help the CVHS Japanese classes. She is loved by the students and is already becoming involved in CVHS society.

Ogawa is proud of all the students “trying really hard to learn Japanese” and she “likes working with the students.” 

Students in Japanese classes this year love having Ogawa in their classroom. “She is friendly and I like talking to her,” shared junior Hailey Hoang. 

Coming to California is hard enough, but during Covid-19, with extra protocol and hoops to jump through, it is even harder. Ogawa had to get a Social Security number and a new bank account. She said she felt “like a baby here” since she had to start from the very first step. She also had to get approved by the school district before joining the classes in-person. 

Ogawa and CVHS Japanese teacher Emi Crow got connected through a program called Japanese Language Education Assistant Program (J-Leap). J-Leap is a project to connect a native Japanese speaker — passionate about teaching Japanese — with a Japanese teacher in the U.S. The assistant teachers stay with the class in the U.S. for two years to gain teaching experience. 

Ogawa says that after her two years at CVHS she will be “looking for some job abroad to teach [Japanese].” 

Outside of teaching, Ogawa enjoys surfing. She has tried to go since arriving in California but, when she went, her car broke down and she was unable to go.

During Homecoming, Ogawa participated in the teacher dance. She is clearly integrating into CVHS nicely, and hopefully will stay comfortably for the next two years.

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