Konnichi wa

05 Mar

I can’t believe it! I was selected to go to Japan this summer as part of an international educators to Japan program!!! This includes a home stay, sight seeing and school visits. During the school visits, I will observe their classroom as well as teach a lesson to the Japanese students. I’m a little nervous but keep reminding myself that I already teach ELL kids and it should be similar. Right? 🙂 I feel so honored to be part of this program and will post my thoughts on my blog as the days get closer and of course, during the two-week trip.

How did this happen? First, I attended a Japanese School Open House — pretty amazing stuff — and learned about the IEJ program. Then, I was recommended by my school principal and submitted an essay about why I should be selected.  I’m pretty blessed because they received applications from all over the world and they picked me! Woohoo!

We will be about 30 participants in the 2011 program — from Michigan, California, Georgia, Texas, Oregon, Canada, UK and Belgium. I can’t wait to meet everyone.

So — how do I prepare for this (other than updating my passport)? Well — I decided I want to learn as much as I can about the Japanese culture, the country and the language prior to the visit. So far, I’ve learned a little Japanese etiquette (from AT&T On Demand) and I’ve checked out a number of library books and programs.  Of course, I’m not going to be fluent by summer, but something is better than nothing, right?

Just today, I received a tentative schedule and it looks like I’ll start out in Tokyo,  go to Hiroshima and then end up in Kyoto.  I plan to meet up with my brother-in-law who lives near Kyoto. It’s wonderful that I have family in Japan who I’ll get to visit.  So excited!!

So….today’s word of the day is Konnichi wa — hello.  Simple, but it’s a start.

If you’ve traveled to Japan, post your advice here!


Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Family, kids, Teaching, travel, Writing


Tags: , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Konnichi wa

  1. Shell

    March 5, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    This could inspire a new novel, Maggie!

  2. Maggie Wunderlich

    March 5, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    Yes – I was thinking the same thing! 🙂

  3. Laurie (pseudonym:Holly McDuff)

    June 24, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Hi Maggie, I noticed that you friended me on the SCBWI and I never had a chance to thank you. I’m writing a picture book based on Japan after WWII, which was inspired by my Grandfather who was based in Japan and setting up radio stations. I’m not sure if you’ve gone on your trip but I really enjoyed reading your blog. I hope you have a wonderful time!

    • Maggie Wunderlich

      June 25, 2011 at 7:15 PM

      Hi Laurie,
      Your picture book sounds fantastic. My trip to Japan was postponed until next summer. Thanks for your kind words and good luck with your book.


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