This story recently appeared in the winter 2012 edition of Harker Quarterly.
Harker hosted two exciting visits from exchange teachers in September, one from Japan and the other from China. Both Yu Sasaki of Japan and Zhang Tao of China came to Harker to absorb the culture and learn new teaching practices.
On Sept. 6 Sasaki, who lives in Sendai, Japan, visited the upper school campus to talk to students about her work with Save the Children, a leading nonprofit organization devoted to promoting children’s welfare. Sasaki is currently involved in Japan’s post-tsunami relief efforts and used her Harker visit as an opportunity to inform the upper school students about it.
“It was a wonderful experience to discuss our post-tsunami relief efforts with five Japanese classes at Harker. In each class, I got interesting questions from students and was happy to know that they still care about what happens on the other side of the earth. I was also amazed by the charity work some of the students did after the tsunami,” she said.
Zhang Tao (who goes by the name Ruth) visited in mid-September from the World Foreign Language Middle School (WFLMS) in Shanghai, China. In recent years the WFLMS has added a high school, where Zhang teaches English to sophomores and juniors. During her time at Harker she observed and taught classes on all three campuses, spending the bulk of her time at the middle school. Highlights of her visit included teaching such subjects as Chinese poetry, Mandarin, calligraphy and tai chi.
The teacher exchange program is an example of Harker’s ongoing effort to build progressive academic and cultural partnerships between institutions around the world, providing meaningful experiences for students at all grade levels – preparing them to be true global citizens.