Simon Sakala is founder and owner of the Oasis English Schools (Oasis英会話) in Sagamihara, Kanagawa in Japan. The first school was opened at Fuchinobe(Oasis英会話淵野辺） in April 2004 and the second was opened at Bono in Sagamiono（Oasis英会話相模大野） ten years later in April, 2014.
Oasis English schools have adopted a dynamic and effective approach to teaching English skills, especially to kids and teenagers. Over the last few years, the program has helped many children, teens as well as adults acquire and improve their English skills, especially in the areas of listening, speaking and reading.
How did I Start Teaching English?
I arrived in Japan on November 1, 1997 to join my wife who was pursuing her graduate studies. When I arrived, I had a dream of going to graduate school while waiting for my wife, and return to Zambia my native country upon completion. However, I met insurmountable obstacles to my achieving my dream. The two major ones were lack of Japanese language skills and money to pay for tuition. After trying hard for about five months to go to graduate school or get a job in Engineering, I was frustrated, bored and broke.
One day, a friend of a friend told me about an English teaching job at the Yokohama Y.M.C.A. Although I neither wanted to teach English nor was good at teaching it, I took it up because that was the only thing I could do earning some reasonable money, while looking for something more meaningful to do. After teaching for a few weeks however, I wanted to quit because I thought my skills teaching children were terrible thus I was just wasting their time. The staff were so kind as to give me an assistant to help me continue trying. Thankfully, I continued and have done so until the time of this writing.
One day, I attended a conference where the speaker talked on the subject he titled ” A miracle in the house”, after teaching for a few months. In the speech, the speaker encouraged the listeners to think about what they could already do or what was already in their hands instead of looking for something else to do. I found my answer.
What’s in your hands?
Although I was not yet good at it, I had teaching English in my hands. So I set out on a learning journey so I could not only become good at teaching English, but also make a substantial contribution and earn good income in the process. I went on to found the Oasis English Schools and develop the Tako business loop.
I love what I’m doing and I feel I was meant to be an English teacher in the first place. My Engineering background has helped me have a different perspective and consequently a different approach.
The Tako Education and Education Business Solutions (TEEBS) is the next step in the effort to leverage both the teaching and business skills I have acquired over the years.
Tako is the Japanese word for octopus. Through personal experience and studying both successful businesses and entrepreneurs for over sixteen years, I came up with a list of Eight Arms to a Successful Enterprise (EASE), like those of an octopus. Actually, you can do anything with EASE.
The eight arms are Standards, System, Organisation, Satisfaction, Brand, Influence, Enrollment and Profitability, in that order , thus the acronym SSOSBIEP. I call this the Tako or SSOSBIEP loop.
Over the years I have attended several live business seminars both in Japan and the U.S., have undergone coaching by successful business and personal development coaches/entrepreneurs, have taken online business programs and have read several books on business and personal development. I also constantly read books about teaching and learning and about business entrepreneurship.