As an instructor in a culturally diverse classroom, the opportunity to travel enhanced my cultural sensitivity and ability to be culturally responsive to my students. Knowledge of the world’s culture and diverse ways of life provides inspiration, energy, and enthusiasm for sharing knowledge with one’s students as well as connecting the classroom with the rest of the world and supporting curriculum in a very meaningful way. There is simply no learning experience that relates to first-hand travel when it comes to developing the ability to relate across cultures. The principles of multicultural education promote close working relationships among the school and community in order to provide consistent expectations and mutual support.
I cannot advocate well for cultural diversity if I am unaware of the unique aspects of different ethnic groups. To teach all students according to today’s standards, educators need to understand the subject matter deeply and flexibly so they can help students relate one idea to another and address misconceptions. Being seen as ‘the teacher who travels’ has really helped raise my profile and improve my standing among my colleagues, my students, and the local community. It made me understand that survival in a competitive environment depends not only on how well you do but also on how you relate to people. I served as an advisor for the Multicultural Club and the sponsor of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship club at Longview Campus. Learning to respect the rich diversity of our world’s many cultures is probably the best education we can give our students, our children, and ourselves. The deep assimilation of my understanding of different cultures and people through all my traveling has allowed me to see the connections between facts and arguments and to look for theories by which to best convey those connections to my students.
Through sustained experience, I continue to help students move beyond a superficial knowledge of a country, politics, and culture into a true understanding of the people who live there as well. With my intensive exposure to different cultures, I am hoping to help students move between abstract, theoretical knowledge, and concrete, specific experiences to expand everyone’s learning about our differences in culture. Therefore, I plan to stimulate their personal education and growth as lifelong scholars who ask challenging questions and attempt to resolve conflicting answers.