🌜保護者説明会🌛 🌜Parent Information Session🌛

本日、保護者説明会を開催いたしました!
総勢100名を超える方々が足を運んでくださり、多くのご質問をいただきました。本園に多大な関心をお寄せいただいていることが改めてよくわかり、嬉しく思いました。

説明会の内容としては、理事長・園長からのご挨拶並びに本園の特色についてお話しました。
優れた国際教育やよりよい保育をしたいという想いがありすぎて、まとまらない内容だったかと思いますが、保護者の皆様には最後まで真剣にお聞きいただき、感謝の気持ちでいっぱいです。

子どもたちのよりよい未来を願い、英語教育に関心を持つ保護者の方々にお集まりいただき、最後の質疑応答でも貴重なご意見やご質問を多数いただきました。

中でも、あるお父様が「異文化も理解する、でも日本人のアイデンティティも大切にする。海外では自分の意見を積極的に発言しますが、日本では和を大切にしたり、遠慮したりすることを美徳とする面がある。相反する面もあると思われるがどのように子どもたちに教えていくのか。」という質問をされました。素晴らしい質問であるとともに、国際教育において重要な議論の一つです。説明会の場でご納得いただけるようにうまくお答えできたかわかりませんが、この場をお借りして改めて答えさせてください。

言語においてバイ(二つの)リンガル(言語)という言葉があるように、文化においてもバイ(二つの)カルチュラル(文化)という言葉があります。二言語を使いこなすように二つの文化を身につけるということです。

私自身も思い返すと、例えば日本人と仕事をするときは目上の人を尊重し、もし意見があったとしても、でしゃばるのではなく伝え方に気を付けると同時に「和」を乱さぬよう配慮します。その反面外国人の中で仕事するときは、年長者の方が多くいる場でもしっかりと自己主張をし、思いや考えを伝えるようにします。そうでないと、意見もやる気もないとみなされるからです。

日本語で話しているときと英語で話しているときは、自分の人格も少し違うように感じます。

幼少期の段階でこのようなところまで文化的な二面性を身につけることは難しいかもしれませんが、その下地として、例えば英語の活動で「Show and tell」という自分の好きなものについて発表する活動を通して人前で臆せず自分の考えを主張する西洋的な文化に触れ、「運動会」「もちつき」「敬老会」などの行事では、友達と協力して活動することや年長者を敬うという日本的な文化に触れる、というように言語面だけでなく文化的な多様性の下地も育てていければと考えております。

そのほかにも貴重な質問を多数いただきました。誠にありがとうございました。うまくお答えできていないこともあったかと思いますが、貴重な意見として今後の設立準備に生かしていきます。今後も何かありましたらお気軽にご連絡ください。

「今回都合がつかず参加できないのですが、情報をいただけますか。」というお問い合わせもいただきました。今後ホームページ等を使って、今回説明会で話した情報は順次お伝えしていきたいと思います。

廿日市市だけでなく他市からも多数お問い合わせをいただきました。遠方からも関心を寄せていただいている方々、誠にありがとうございます。

しかし今はまだ開園前。どんなに理想を高く持っても、実際の保育と教育が伴わなければ意味がありません。期待していただいている保護者や地域の皆様に応え、何より子どもたちのために私たちができる最良の保育と教育を提供できるよう精進してまいります!

ご来場いただいた皆様、関心をお寄せいただいている皆様、支えていただいている皆様、当日サポートしてくれた職員に心から感謝申し上げます。今後とも引き続きよろしくお願いいたします!m(_ _)m

Parents Information Session

Today, we held the parents information session to throw more light on our preschool goals at …

There were more than 100 parents and guardians who attended and we took the opportunity to answer a lot of relevant questions on the minds of the attendees. This very session showed us how much preschool education means to many people and the importance most parents attach to it. I believe we are now becoming the focus of attention as more and more parents are getting interested.

The information session started with greetings and after that we explained about the features of our education policies. We had so much to say about our features of education, and it might have been a bit all over the place already, but I truly appreciate the presence and time of the parents, who patiently and earnestly listened to the presentation.

There were a lot of parents, who expressed keen interest in having a better future for their children. Most of them raised genuine questions and concerns and, also contributed their valuable opinions and comments to discussions.

One male parent asked a very good question related to culture. He made the point that the teachers of our preschool are going to come from different cultures, but at the same time would respect the Japanese culture and traditions. In foreign countries, it is often important to be assertive and express one’s ideas or thoughts freely and openly. However in Japan, it is often important to be modest and reserved. These seem to be opposite to each other and the said parent wondered how we are going to teach these different cultures to children to live by them in harmony. This was a great question for an important discussion of international education. I do not know if I was able to answer the parent properly, so I would need some time to come with a good explanation and thoughtful answer later.

In English, we have the word, ‘bilingual’. Similarly, there is another word, ‘bicultural’. Bicultural means to be able to understand two different cultures, or combine cultural attitudes and customs of two nations, people, or ethnic groups. This may come close to being able to use or speak two different languages fluently – bilingual.

When I think about myself, working with Japanese, I totally recall the cultural aspects and customs to follow. For example, respect for the elderly, bowing, showing appreciation. Even if I have something to say, I would not thrust myself forward or try to stand out, but be aware of what I say and be mindful of not creating disharmony, or hurt the feelings of others with my words. On the other hand, when I work with foreign people, even if there are lots of elderly people, I would present my opinions in a way that shows that I am independent. If I do not do that, I would be recognized or seen as not being my own man or lack the confidence to speak.

I also feel that my personality slightly changes depending on whether I speak Japanese or English.

It might be difficult in the beginning for young children to acquire this kind of bicultural aspects or traits, but it may be possible to prepare such children by nurturing them to see the different cultures that exist in their immediate environment and understand them. For example, when children do an activity such as “show and tell” children can come in touch with foreign cultures as they learn and present ideas and thoughts about other nations and their cultures in front of an audience. Children can also do that by displaying self confidence. In other events like Sports Days, ‘Mochitsuki’ or ‘Keiroukai’, children can learn to work with others, show respect to the elderly, interact with citizens in a courteous manner and so on. These are some examples through which we can experience different cultures and cherish diversities.

We heard from numerous people with tons of questions and I really appreciate the time spent by everyone who attended, asked questions, and contributed meaningfully to the discussions had. Besides, I am awfully sorry if I did not answer some questions in detail.

There were also some inquiry from some concerned individuals who were not able to attend the information session, and therefore, wanted access to the information. We will use our website to further share all the relevant information and everything we mentioned during the session.

There were inquiries from outside Hatsukaichi City as well. Thank you so much for your interest.

We are yet to open our preschool so we have ample time to put everything in order before we hit the ground running. All the lofty ideals are useless if we cannot implement them. We will try our very best to offer the best education and care for most especially, the children to be entrusted into our care, so that the parents, local community members, and the entire city to be proud of us at Moonlight International Preschool.

Again, we would like to express our huge thanks to all the people, who attended, all the people who are interested, all the people who support us, and all the staff who worked on the day! We hope to see you again soon at our next event. Thank you very much.