As a child, I went to schools that were often dominant in one culture, where almost every student came from the same cultural background. I was accustomed to the same foods being served at every party, at every friend’s house; there was a variety within culture, but a lack of different cultural foods, or people for that matter. Growing up was simple, indifferent, and the same routine every single day.
However, this all changed when I moved to Honolulu, Hawai’i. Honolulu is best described as a place where East meets West, as it is a doorway to many different people sharing their own culture under one spirit of aloha –where everyone is welcomed and shares the spirit of being nice to one another. This attitude brought upon new opportunities for learning, not just in the educational system, but from the people themselves, too.
I became much more interested in becoming involved in more extracurricular activities, one reason being the thrill of a newfound experience as I did not have this kind of opportunity on Maui before, but also being able to explore new cultural experiences from not only my perspective, but also from their perspectives as well. This introduced to me the concept of “Worldliness”, and that there is so much to learn by meeting other people. I believe that understanding different cultures will give me knowledge that is extremely key for becoming a well-rounded, knowledgeable educator. This type of knowledge will help me better connect to my students when I begin to teach internationally, because the cultural differences and values are just a few things that differ in an international perspective, and will help me to adapt to better serve my students.