The roles are reversed as soon as I step into the classroom. Suddenly, it’s me feeling small, vulnerable, expectant but completely unsure of myself.
I am so nervous! And even when I think I do know something, actually saying something is just too demanding of a request.
My eyes travel across their faces, across their beautiful complexions. These children’s minds are already machines, being trained to memorize the strokes of a language that I myself am striving to understand. They’re already thinking and breathing and speaking a culture that I have just stepped into.
I have stepped into my students’ world.
My eyes journey across my teacher’s face. She is kind, supportive, and considered a foreigner in my world. I am struck by how other my native tongue and cultural mentality is to the world around me. I bow my mind to the humbling process of assimilation.
This is, in fact, my new culture.