Today’s students are culturally a different bunch than when I went to school. You’ve seen the images going around from National Geographic about what Americans will look like in 2050. The images are beautiful, and I am excited that I get to see this every day where I work at an international school in Japan.
We might call our international kids “TCK,” which stands for Third Culture Kids, students who create a 3rd culture in an international setting but come from another culture or two. But there’s a lot more to it.
Recently I decided to ask my class about who they were. We were finishing up a unit called “Who We Are,” and I gave them some questions:
- Where do you come from?
- Where do you call home?
- What has made you you?
- What shapes the say you behave?
Their answers are fascinating to me. Some of the students are confident. I’m this person…I come from here…My parents are this… Yet, there’s also a lot of doubt and some confusion when they get the questions.
In planning our curriculums everywhere, we need to realize the students we have. They’re kids just like any kids, but there’s a lot behind them. There are a lot of issues they’re probably processing all the time or maybe even taking for granted. I’m realizing more and more that I understand them less and less. Is that ok as a teacher?
I think so. What do you think?
Here are their thoughts: