Tomorrow morning I will depart from cozy Calgary and fly towards the hustle of bustle of Osaka, Japan. The mix of uncertainty and anxiousness is still swirling around in my head, but of course so is a healthy dose of excitement.
This being my second time visiting Japan I have a rough idea of what to expect as a tourist. This being said, as a bit of a foodie, I can't wait to dive into the culinary gold mine that is Japanese cuisine. As a fan of Japanese popular culture, the hustle and bustle of Osaka's Dotonbori, the myriad of temples and shrines in the old capital of Kyoto, and the modern Otaku haven of Akihabara are all tantalizingly within my horizon. And of course, as a pre-service teacher the prospect of working with Japanese students is something brings to me great anticipation as well.
Having been educated in China in my youthful years (until Grade 6), I have some ideas about how the Japanese education system may compare to western education. However, I am anticipating and hoping to be proven wrong so that I can gain a completely different experience than that of my memories. As a fledgling in the educational world and someone who has been a part of two worlds, by comparing the different educational philosophies of east and west I hope to gain a better grasp of my own educational philosophy.
I am also looking forward to working with Japanese students, which is sure to present many challenges, especially language. However, I will do my best using my current knowledge of Japanese culture and by diving deeper into the culture in order to make a connection with the students. This is likely going to be a difficult task, but hopefully I will come out of it knowing how to better connect with students in general. By working with students of a different culture, I also hope to gain insight into how to better work with diversity in the classroom. And by being in an environment where I am challenged by language, I'll also be able to better understand ELL students here in Canada.
Most importantly of all, I feel this trip will allow me to become someone who welcome challenges and the unknown. As someone who wants to become a science teacher, this is a spirit I want all students to have in science as well as in life. Albert Einstein once famously said of the quantum theory, "God does not play dice", when faced with the uncertainty inherent to quantum mechanics; this aversion to uncertainty was to become one of the few times he was wrong. In science and in life, while it is important to plan with the future in mind, it is also important to embrace what is unknown with open arms as an opportunity to learn more. Just as from the infinite darkness of the young universe the first photon escaped to become a part of the grand cosmic background radiation that we still see today. Within any void of unknown, there is a ray of everlasting knowledge waiting to escape.
And... a ray of a new dawn waiting to bring with it a new amazing experience.
Wen, blog/pen name: *snow* (Snow Sensei)
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