Frontier teacher selected for cultural visit to Japan
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 28, 2006
Meghan E. Moravcik
Nashua Way's fourth-graders won't just learn about Arizona, plants,
multiplication and division next school year. They're also going to get a crash
course in Japanese culture.
The Frontier Elementary teacher was chosen as one of 600 teachers and
administrators nationwide to visit Japan for three weeks to tour schools and
museums, learn about Japan's culture and education system, and attend seminars.
She'll also stay with a Japanese family.
And she plans to bring it all back to her students. "It's going to be good for
them because it will expose them to things they've never seen," Way said.
The kids will have a substitute while Way is gone for three weeks at the end of
November. When she gets back, she'll teach them about the Asian country's
geography and culture. The class will have a pen pal to interact with. And when
they read the two Japanese stories that Way teaches every year, she'll be able
to build deeper lessons around them.
"I think now that I'm going to go (to Japan), I'll get more knowledge so these
stories can be better developed," she said. "We just kind of read it and go on,
so now I think we can make bigger units on it."
"A lot of the time, we're going to visit the schools and get a feel for how
they're different from the United States," said Way, who has been teaching in
the Peoria Unified School District for six years.
The Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program, which is sponsored by the
Japanese government, administers the program. Each of the 600 participants will
travel to San Francisco for an overview before flying to Tokyo.
The teachers and administrators will be divided into several groups to visit
Getting chosen wasn't easy. It included a substantial application, with "tons
and tons of questions," letters of recommendations and details over how the
applicants planned to put their experience to good use, Way said.
Along with the lessons she is planning for her students, Way is setting up a
family geography night to show off artifacts to the community, and she will
share her experiences at the Arizona Geographic Alliance's annual GeoFest.