IISJ Teaching Staff Additions

While this academic year has been a tumultuous one, two new staff additions have helped students navigate these tough times. Today, we are interviewing Mr. Raph Lobo, High School English teacher, and Mr. Nic Klar, High School college counselor.

Mr. Ralph Lobo – High School English 

With over 30 years of experience in teaching English, Mr. Lobo has seen them all: CBSE, Cambridge, IB, Oxford, and the African Board. He joined IISJ in April, but got stuck in India just as Japan closed its borders. He finally managed to fly over in November and got to meet his students in person after nearly seven months of Zoom teaching. 

When asked about the shift from traditional to hybrid learning, he said maintaining communication is key. “However, health being the number one priority, it is an inevitable situation and the teachers have to work harder to be able to teach students about the outside world,” said Mr. Lobo. He hopes that students are able to return to classes safely after everything is over since interacting with friends are some of his most precious memories of going to school. 


Mr. Nic Klar – College Counseling

Mr. Klar joined IISJ in September as a college counselor for high school students. He commutes between Japan and Australia, and counsels IISJ students via email and Zoom calls. Before tackling the CBSE curriculum, he worked with students in IB and A-Level curriculums.

One of his main goals at IISJ is to put a system in place for students that will have them start preparing for college when they are in Grade 10. This would mean that by the start of Grade 12, the majority of students will know which universities they want to apply to, as well as their requirements and deadlines.

Why did Mr. Klar take up counseling as a career? He says it was something that he had to do at his previous school. Having attended university in the US, he was asked by students to help them with university applications. Very soon, he took on all the students and guided them toward college. Originally a History teacher and an IB History examiner, he enjoys helping students work on their future. “It’s nice to hear back from ex-students over the years who are grateful for helping them down a path that they didn’t want to take, or seemed impossible to take,” he said.

Mr. Klar advises that it’s never too early to start thinking about college. He recommends closely communicating with your parents (who are going to pay the bill!) and to do some personality profiling to help determine the course of study you may want to pursue in the future.