Wen-xuan Li: Volunteering at Fukakusa Kindergarten

My volunteering at Fukakusa Kindergarten entails instructing basic English vocabulary of colors, animals, and children’s stories and playing with children during the asobi time. Will and I went there once a week, two hours each time.

I appreciate this volunteering, which provides me with a window into Japanese kindergartens and children’s rearing systems, which I could compare and contrast with the situations in China and America. It also serves as one of the few opportunities for me to be involved in the Japanese community directly by interacting with Japanese teachers and children, driving me to think about how education for children contributes to Japanese culture.

You are expected to be nervous and confused initially, but you will get through that period quickly because the teachers are amiable and helpful. They are very considerate and respectful. If you have any confusion or questions, direct communication is appreciated. The Japanese etiquette can be tricky to approach at first, but gradually, you will handle it well.