SHRUB OAK. N.Y. — Christina Connors, who teaches family consumer science, often takes her students on virtual trips through video, lessons of culture and food, but this summer the Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School teacher will have the opportunity to travel for real.
Connors was selected as one of 24 teachers from the U.S. for a Fulbright Japan teacher exchange program that will take her to Japan from June 18 to July 2.
“It’s a place I’ve always wanted to go,” Connors said. “I always say, if I had a lot of money I would just love to travel and travel.”
Connors said she will go to California first for a few days to meet with teachers from Japan who have been doing a similar program by learning about American culture.
“It sounds like we’ll be visiting sites within Japan pertaining to sustainability and working with Japanese teachers on sustainability curriculum, including green energy and conservation and other things like that.”
Connors said the program focuses on curriculum and seeing different examples of sustainability in Japan.
“As opposed to going there as a tourist, I’ll really get to spend time with people and have a really cultured and genuine experience,” she said.
Connors, who tries to take her students through different cultures from the classroom, expects the trip will allow her to incorporate things about Japanese culture into her classroom that she didn’t before.
“I think its always value to see how other teachers are teaching something,” she said. “And I feel like when you go somewhere else, here it’s easy to be stuck in your ways and say, 'This is how we do things,' so you sort of forget that there are all different ways to do things. Sometimes you need to go somewhere else to show you something new, or to learn from other people.”