Interview with Teachers

2 weeks ago, about 13 teachers from Hyogo University of Teacher Education came to visit CA to learn about the learning environment of students at CA and ask questions regarding school life. 4 students including myself (1 from high school, 1 from middle school, 2 from elementary) answered the questions they had to give them insight on student perspectives on school. As a representative of middle school, I talked about school such as what subjects I like, the amount of homework we get, effective systems of learning unique to this school that really help students like myself, my experiences and my general thoughts about school etc. Although I was a bit nervous as we were surrounded by teachers and it was like a press conference, the interview was quite an interesting experience as they asked many questions that I hadn’t thought about and made me think and realize that there were so many differences between local japanese schools and CA despite them being in the same country.

Earthquake Unit Wrap-up

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What did you learn?

In this unit, I learnt how an earthquake occurs and the science behind it. There are three types of plate boundaries; Diverging Boundary, Sliding boundary (Transform boundary), and Converging Boundary. Boundaries form mid-ocean ridges or rises. At a diverging boundary, the plates move apart at spreading centers. At a sliding/transform boundary, 2 plates slide past each other and the sliding movement often cuases eathquakes to occur along faults. A fault is a crack in the Earth’s crust where slabs of crust slip past each other. The rocks on both sides of a fault can move up or down or sideways. At a converging boundary, two plates move toward one another and collide. There are 3 types of stress that cause rocks to become fragile and snap/ bend slowly; Shearing, tension and compression.

How was this unit connected to you?

As a citizen of Japan, where earthquakes are a common occurence, I felt that it was important to learn about earthquakes and the science behind it.

How could this unit impact your life?

Learning about the Hanshin Awaji Earthquake via writing the One World Essay changed my perspective on earthquakes and made me more conscious of the danger of earthquakes. By learning applications of science that contribute to helping people be more prepared for earthquakes, I can take actions to be safe during a disaster such as earthquakes.

English Festival 2015

Yesterday, the “4th Annual Kobe English Festival” was held at Kobe Foreign Studies University, to give an opportunity for local students from schools in Kobe to showcase and present their knowledge they have acquired through months and months of hard work and dedication, through a presentation in english. The theme this year was “Bousai”, which means disaster prevention. 9 schools (8 local japanese schools + 1 international school) presented effective ways to prepare for disasters in hopes of raising awareness of disaster preparedness and working on communication skills at the same time. As representatives of Canadian Academy, we (Tomo, Callum, Mayu and myself) presented as guest speakers, and so we did not compete. Nowadays, students do not pay attention during drills for disasters as they have not experienced it and think that it will not happen to them. To change their perspective on disasters, we incorporated personal stories and experiences in our presentation, which helped convey the fear and emotions that the people who experienced the disasters felt, even if it was a slight bit. The fact that Tomo experienced the Tohoku Earthquake and shared his personal st0ries was very meaningful and we all, including the audience were surprised and changed our views on disasters.

My parents experienced the Hanshin Awaji Earthquake in 1955 and I was very shocked when I heard what it was really like, from a person who had experienced it. To prepare for such petrifying disasters, we talked about how we can prepare for them. We pointed out 5 main points effective in preparing for disasters which were

1. Prepare an emergency kit

2. Pay attention during drills

3. Talk with your family and know who to call for help and their phone number

4. Don’t have dangerous furniture near your bed

5. Decide on a safe meeting place as a family.

I think our presentation was successful and we were able to spread the message “Although we can’t prevent disasters from happening, we CAN prepare for them.”. We received words of congratulations from many teachers who were present at the festival and I was very delighted to see that they appreciated our presentation as we had put a lot of effort in it as a team. I was able to ask my team members about their experience and what they thought about the english festival.

Tomo- “Today’s experience encouraged me and others to learn and study english. From all the presentations, I can see their hard work and dedication, and how much effort and time they spent. It made me happy and I think it encouraged and motivated others, because it showed how much english they can learn, and how much they are capable of learning.

Callum- Watching these people, who had never really spoken English before, speak the language with such clarity and emotion made me think that they had such dedication and courage to go up there and say their speech. This opportunity inspired me so much to do what I wanted to do and to not give up.

Mayu- “I had a great opportunity to speak in front of the Japanese schools and see their efforts.”

Finally, I would like to thank Ms. Nishizawa and Mr. Lyons for guidance throughout the process of creating our presentation and of course, my team members who put a lot of effort and time to make this presentation in hopes of inspiring fellow students and raising awareness of disaster preparedness.

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Photo Credits: Mr. Lyons