Represent American Teachers in Japan
How could I not write about this unbelievable opportunity? The government of Japan annually sends 400 educators a year to Japan under their teacher program, Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund. This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity that should not be missed. I lived abroad for a while and love traveling, but this trip will never be topped. Never. Here is a short description of the program on the JFMF page:
Applicants selected to participate in the 2009 JFMF Teacher Program will receive a fully-funded three week experience in Japan. At seminars in Tokyo, participants are introduced to the Japanese culture and education system and meet with Japanese government officials and educators. Participants also visit urban schools, museums, and historic landmarks. They are then assigned to small groups that spend the next several days visiting a particular Japanese city. The participants visit local schools and teachers' colleges, where they interact with Japanese teachers, students, and parents. For many, the highlight of the study visit is a short home-stay with a Japanese family. The program concludes with debriefing sessions in Tokyo where all participants share their experiences and insights. Throughout the study visit, participants are encouraged to discuss their "follow-on plans" and to develop strategies for sharing their experiences with their schools and communities in the U.S.
Are You Eligible?
This is not limited to classroom teachers. I went as a literacy coach and was surrounded by a variety of educational positions (from art teachers to directors of schools). The only exclusion is for kindergarten teachers and those planning on retiring.
~Preference is given to educators who have not been to Japan, but you are still welcome to apply.
~You do not need to speak Japanese. An interpreter was provided for most of the trip.
~A huge part of the admission process is writing a strong follow-on plan. How do you plan to educate your school and community about Japan upon return?
~There are two cycles during the school year that you are competing for. One is in October and the other is in June. You may not select a preference of one cycle over the other. I was selected for the 2006 October cycle and only needed to take one week off of school. The other two weeks fell on my school’s fall break.
What Do You Have to Lose?
The deadline will most likely be December 10, 2008. I say "most likely" because the site does not have the application up yet. I suspect it should be available very soon, and a notification link is available to give you the first chance at applying. Meanwhile, check out the site to learn more about the process, details, and objectives of the trip.
Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Site- http://www.iie.org/Website/WPreview.cfm?CWID=752&WID=194
Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Headquarters: http://www.fulbrightmemorialfund.jp/
Click here to visit an old travel blog I created for the trip. Here's a sneak peek slide show:
Feel free to post your questions here. It's honestly a trip of a lifetime that shouldn't be passed up. If you have ANY questions, please post them here. I wish I had that option as I muddled through the process on my own. I am ready to give pointers, application questions, and so on.