Around the World and Into ASK; New English Teacher Appreciates the Sunshine of New Mexico

September 10, 2013

Culture, The Zoetics

Photo By Mario Andreatta New Project Manager Haim Nakai said his favorite high school memory is cheering on the basketball team.

Photo By Mario Andreatta
New Project Manager Haim Nakai said his favorite high school memory is cheering on the basketball team.

By Charis Mote

Hien Nakai, a new English teacher at the ASK Academy, said that his favorite part about teaching at ASK is the scholars. Before coming to the Academy, Nakai was teaching in Albania at the Academy of Toronto. “One thing I like about teaching here is that the scholars are very motivated; even when they don’t have to come in on Fridays, a lot of them come anyway. I think it’s nice to see such motivated scholars,” Nakai said.

He taught in four schools prior to coming to The ASK Academy. Two of which were either English as a Second Language, or English as a Foreign Language positions. “The hardest part about teaching here is the fact that I’m new here – there’s a new system, and just a new way of doing things,” he said.

Despite loving his job, Nakai didn’t always want to be a teacher. “If you had told me in high school that I would be a teacher now, I would have laughed at you for even thinking about such a thing. It only happened about five or six years ago. My sisters became teachers and they told me that I would be a good educational assistant, and I realized that I liked the educational field.”

Nakai has found that when he is teaching, he never grows tired of it. “Teaching is not a boring profession, there’s always something that makes it interesting.”

Despite English being his favorite subject, he also enjoys math and science. He said he didn’t always like English. “Especially when I was younger – when I was going through high school and college, math was very logical so it was easy because everything had ordered steps. When I was in high school, English felt difficult for me. But now I like English, because everything is English; you need English for everything.”

Nakai grew up in a small town in the middle of Tennessee and attended college at ITT Technical Institute. College, he said, was not a time in his life that he misses. Travelling is his passion, and he has lived in many places around the world, including Boise, Idaho; Guam; Torreon, Mexico; Ashahi, Japan; Louisa, Virginia; Shenzhen, China; Tirana, and Albania.

Nakai can pin down his all-time favorite high school memory. “Senior year, it was the high school basketball game. We were at the playoffs, I had to travel 50 miles to get to it. There were only 15 seconds left and the opposing team scored, they were in the lead. One of my classmates had to basically drive down and score the winning shot, and after that we stormed the courts.”

Having lived all around the world, Nakai said New Mexico has plenty to appreciate. “I love the weather here; I love how it’s always sunny. I love how in Albuquerque we almost have 300 days of sunshine.”

In his free time, he likes to play video games and do research on his computer. He would love to continue teaching forever and hopes to stay at the ASK Academy. If there is any wisdom he hopes to impart on his scholars, it’s the idea that their future is limitless. “Anything is possible,” he said. “There’s nothing you can’t do.”

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