By Ann McCarthy
Co-Recipient of the 2004 United Stated-Japan Foundation Elgin Heinz
Outstanding Teacher Award
My Japanese 4-5 class. which is combined into one class, was getting ready to leave for a day-trip, to a local Japanese garden and restaurant. A student rushed in just as the final bell was ringing, greeting everyone with. “Ohayo gozaimasu (good morning). Hello family.” With that greeting he conveyed what happens in the class. We’re a family, we’re together, you matter to me and I matter to you. This is an example of the magic that can occur in our Japanese classes. Perhaps one of the best experiences of taking Japanese in high school is not just learning the language and culture of Japan. but the positive learning environment that isn’t always easy in an inner-city public school.