TEMECULA – Temecula Preparatory School (TPS) hosted approximately 40 Japanese students from Sasebo Kita Junior High School from March 26-28. The students from Sasebo Kita Junior High were scheduled to tour the cities of Temecula and Murrieta from March 25 through April 1 and Temecula Preparatory School was one of their stops, so that they could participate in and observe the American public school
During their visit to campus, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students from TPS escorted the Japanese students throughout the day to and from classes to share ideas and cultural experiences, in order to learn from one another.
As a part of their American cultural experience, the Japanese students from Sasebo Kita Jr. High attended the 8th grade’s Cotillion dance practice. They were so interested in the dances that the TPS students were learning (i.e. the Waltz and the Fox Trot) that some of them joined in!
One of TPS’ faculty members, Mr. Ueno, along with his Cultural Anthropology class, created a banner for the visitors that the TPS students signed as a parting gift in remembrance of their special time. Each Japanese student was presented with a “Certificate of Appreciation” from their TPS counterpart in honor of their visit to TPS’ campus.
Renee Huskey, dean of culture at TPS, who coordinated the visit, said, “It was a pleasure to see the students interacting during the day in the classrooms and especially during the break times. This was a very enriching and fun experience for all of the students and I have a feeling that many of our students will keep in touch with their new friends from Japan.”
Shoh Ueno, an upper school faculty member at TPS who teaches Moral Philosophy, said, “It was an absolute pleasure to be useful this week to our campus guests from Japan. Figuring out how to address the differences between Japanese and American cultures has been a lifelong process for me on a personal, internal level, so it was a tremendous honor for me to see that struggle bearing usefulness in practical
“The Japanese students whom I spoke with expressed how much they enjoyed being on TPS’ campus. Each day, they wrote entries in a journal, which the teachers read and passed back in the morning. Most wrote that they were excited for the next day!
“Later on, the teachers explained to me how they noticed something very different about our classes. They remarked how boldly students would explain their answers without fear of failure.
“In Japan, students feel great pressure to answer correctly, but at Temecula Prep, these teachers saw that students and teachers would discuss in depth why some responses are right, and some are wrong, even in math class. I was very excited to hear this observation because it makes apparent that classical education transcends culture and language. I briefly described to them that we see a great need, not only to teach correct answers, but even more so to empower students with the skills to understand why the answers are correct. They were deeply
According to Dr. Angelika Robinson, the mother of a student at TPS, her son said to her, “Mom, I already miss my buddy!”
Dr.Robinson went on to say, “What an amazing experience for all of our TPS students!”