Well, well, Wells: Aspen High teacher headed to Japan | AspenTimes.com

Well, well, Wells: Aspen High teacher headed to Japan

Eben Harrell

An Aspen High School social studies teacher has won a scholarship for a three-week educational trip to Japan.Matt Wells, who teaches world history and freshman geography, is one of around 200 high school teachers from across the country traveling to Japan on Oct. 3, courtesy of a scholarship program set up by the Japanese government.Wells said the program, named the Fulbright Memorial Fund, aims to promote cultural understanding among American teachers. After a week in Tokyo, he will travel to Mattao, a town in the west coast province of Ishikawa, for two weeks of meetings and exchange programs with Japanese educators.”The program basically aims to help U.S. teachers understand the Japanese culture and education system so we can build our knowledge and curriculum around stuff about Japan,” Wells said.Part of the requirement of the program is for Wells to give presentations to students and community members about the trip. Wells, in his second year at the high school, said he plans to keep his eyes open and his camera handy in order to put together a slide show presentation when he gets back.”I plan to come back after the trip and schedule some Asian sections. I’ll be able to use slides, stories and artifacts I pick up on my trip,” he said.Wells said he has spent the past few weeks taking an audio course on Japanese. An experienced traveler – he spent three years in the Peace Corps in west Africa in the early ’90s – this will be his first trip to Japan.”Hopefully news of my trip will get other Aspen teachers excited about applying for the scholarship next year,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity.”Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is eharrell@aspentimes.com