Around the world there are many different cultures, and each of those cultures can sometimes have a different definition for a few things, including what caring for children looks like. In most of the world, education is certainly one aspect of caring for our kids. It’s not only useful in keeping them safe, it helps prepare them to be adults and continue to keep this planet spinning.
But what does education look like around the world? Well, in many ways it’s very much the same as it is anywhere else. In American schools we teach our kids to read and write. In Japanese schools they do the same. We have gym class; they have gym class. We have band practice; they have band practice.
When it comes to lunchtime though, many public schools in Japan do things a little differently. You see, they don’t view lunch as a “break” from school, but just as much a part of their education as anything else. So after thanking their teacher for teaching them, the students head downstairs and begin bringing serving dishes and other items right up to their classroom. Assigned students then serve the other children before sitting down to eat themselves. Their teacher eats with them, but also informs them about their meal. When they’re finished, they spend a little time afterward cleaning up their dishes but also the classroom and even the hallways. In fact, most Japanese schools only employ adults for more potentially hazardous work like building maintenance and biohazardous sanitation.
The service and cleaning portions are meant to teach students how to work together, but also how to be responsible for one’s own life. After all, when a student arrives in a dorm room in college, they don’t have a janitor showing up to vacuum their floors or wash their clothes.
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