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Onsens and Monkeys

July 5, 2010

NOTE:  This blog entry is excerpted and cross-posted from a travel blog written by the 2010 California Teachers of the Year in their Journals From Japan.  The five-teacher contingent includes InterACT blogger Kelly Kovacic and ACT member Valerie Ziegler.  Please go to their blog to see pictures, read additional entries, and leave them some comments.  (DC)

Our trip through Japan continues to be an incredible experience. Saturday we arrived in Oita and I met my host family, a wonderful husband and wife, both in their 30s and English teachers. They have an adorable three year old daughter, Aika. Immediately we got along, talking about teaching, traveling, and our common experiences as foreign exchange students in England.

Our first night togther, we took a walking tour of the city (the family lives across the street from an ancient castle), visited a yen store and went to dinner at their favorite Japanese restaurant. They did all the ordering, wanting to make sure I had a full taste of traditional Japanese food. We shared delicacies such as raw squid, octopus, and lots of noodles. Our dinner conversation was lively and engaging. At both our schools, we have advisory classes that we follow during their entire careers on campus. We talked at length about the need for education to be about not only fostering academic skills but developing global citizens capable of understanding their role in improving our society and world. We all commented that despite being an ocean apart and living in two different countries, our teaching philosphies and students are so similar.

Continued at Journals From Japan.

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