Arishana Riek

Arishana Riek

Arishana Riek

Grade 5 Homeroom Teacher

Nationality: South African

What year did you come to YIS, and where were you working prior to YIS?

I came to YIS in August, 2019. I worked at the Luanda International School in Angola. Before that, I was in Cambodia and Azerbaijan.

What attracted you to come work at YIS?

I wanted to work at a school that is well-established in the Primary Years Program and has strong connections to its host country. YIS fit the bill and Japan has always been a drawcard.

What do you love most about the PYP?

Teaching through a conceptual lens that is based in inquiry allows for so many “aha moments” in the day, both teaching and learning.  I’m often in awe of the students’ thinking.

What sports/non-academic activities are you involved with at school?

This year, I will offer Mindfulness for Children as an after school activity.

How would you describe the IB Program, and its value, to parents?

With the Learner Profile Attributes at the core of all three programs, we are contributing towards raising internationally-minded humans. It is my hope that they will go out into the world, taking action towards creating a more just society with empathy and respect.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of school, and what do you enjoy most about life in Japan? ​​​​​

I enjoy reading, meditation, wandering around in wonder and walking in forests. I am especially enjoying visiting shrines.

If you weren’t a teacher, what would your profession be?

Something to do with books or a soul-food cook. Maybe both.

If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and what would you discuss?

I would like to meet Nelson Mandela and talk about sustainable ideas to get communities to live more harmoniously with each other.

Which YIS event(s) from the school year do you enjoy most, and why?

I’m looking forward to the Grade 5 Expedition in Niigata. I’ve heard that the Food Fair is not to be missed so I’m looking forward to that too. Yum!

What advice would you give to teachers looking to work in Japan?

Apply! Yes, there are occasional gritted teeth and tears of frustration, but mostly there’s awe, quirkiness and beauty. More importantly, though, the students are kind and friendly and always willing to try.

What excites you most about the new YIS campus? 

Mainly that there will be more closeness with the rest of the PYP classes and the other programs. The students are excited about having a swimming pool and a field to play on, and that makes me happy!