Ittai Wong

Ittai Wong

Ittai Wong

Position in School: MS/HS English Teacher

Nationality: American (Hawaiian)


What year did you come to YIS, and where were you working prior to YIS?
I came to YIS in 2022, previously I worked at Le Jardin Academy in Kailua, Hawaii for 7 years.
What attracted you to come work at YIS?
The opportunity to grow, travel, and push myself beyond Hawaii. 

What do you love most about teaching the students here at YIS?

YIS is home to so many students of different cultures, ethnicities, languages, passions, and interests. This is the most diverse group of students I have ever worked with and the ability to call upon and highlight those differences is invaluable. 

What areas of school life are you involved with at YIS?  

I'm involved with the Slam Poetry Club, TEDx YIS, MS Girls Basketball and the Combat Human Trafficking service team.

How is learning different here at YIS?

Learning at YIS is student driven and student centered which means they can take control of their learning and make it personal to them. Many summative assignments are group based, which allows students to collaborate and highlight their strengths in different ways. There is also a focus on making inquiry authentic to students' lived experience that I have not seen at other schools. 

What are your hobbies and interests outside of school?

I enjoy journaling, writing poetry, playing basketball and snowboarding, tapping into my creativity and staying active. I also enjoy the occasional Harry Potter marathon. 
Which YIS event(s) do you feel highlights who we are as a school? 
I think it has to be the Back to School and Studentainment concerts. I love the celebration of students who take risks on stage and the support the other students and teachers give them.

What excites you most about working here at YIS?

Having the opportunity to teach high school students. I was primarily a middle school teacher at my last post but at YIS I have ventured into the realm of high school, while still remaining in the Middle Years Programme. I love working with my English Department team and the Grade 7 tutor team. 

What do you love about living and working in Japan?

I love being able to take the train anywhere and go on an adventure around the city, stopping at stations I've never been to and wandering around. I feel immense gratitude for both YIS and this lovely country being my first international teaching post. I feel so lucky to experience the food, culture and changing seasons in Japan. It's all a dream come true.