My hat is off to all teachers around the world and from the United States who go to distant places to teach. They are a special breed. Usually they find their profession to be one of the best in the world…helping people of all ages to learn. They often take time out of their summers; perhaps pay their own way to reach out to a culture that is not their own. They are the greatest ambassadors that America can send. Sometimes, as I experienced, they have to fight with their school districts to take a little time off to be that ambassador. Nevertheless, they go, whether with great professional blessings or without. Thank you, teachers. You are making a difference in this world of strife.
A family in Virginia is mourning today the death of their daughter, Taylor, who was teaching in the JET program (Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program) at Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture, Japan. She was last seen riding her bike back to her apartment after the quake and before the tsunami hit. Before leaving, she had made sure parents picked up their children and that whoever was left went to higher ground. The US Embassy in Japan announced to the family their findings.
This story took me back to 1998 when I was chosen, with teachers from around the US, to be a part of the Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program. The Japanese government was honoring teachers from the United States in celebration of fifty years of teacher exchanges and the United States that had helped rebuild Japan after World War II.
The people of Japan made my visit an unforgettable one. You will see in this slide presentation: people of Japan; students, scenery and Japanese traditions. How many of these people were in the northern area of Japan and were swept away by the tsunami, I do not know. I visited Takamatsu City. This prefecture was further south west from the afflicted area, but I am certain that there is great sorrow among all the people of Japan.
I understand why Taylor loved Japan and wanted to teach there. The following video is in honor of her memory and all the teachers who reach out to the world.
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