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For my entire life, I have always had a special connection with Japan. Growing up in Australia with a Japanese mother provided opportunities to immerse myself in two vastly different cultures. My decision to become a Primary School teacher further enhanced my ability to share my experiences and my passion through educating my students about the beautiful language, culture, lifestyle and traditions of Japan.
I applied for Tomodachi Connect in 2020 and was selected to participate in the pilot program, which I then followed up again in 2021. This was an amazing experience for my students as they engaged in weekly video chats with our connected school in Japan, learned at first hand about Japanese school life, intrigued each other about Olympics in both countries, participated in trivia/ games and quizzes with our Japanese students and exchanged wonderful conversations, moments, laughs and songs which they will remember forever. My students were so engaged in these sessions and I loved watching them interacting and connecting with Japanese students as if they had already been friends – there were no barriers, despite growing up in completely different worlds. These reasons are why I love being a Japanese teacher and why I love being a ‘Tomodachi of Japan’.