“You turned Asian before my very eyes,” a colleague told me after a potentially explosive parent-teacher conference with a Middle Eastern, immigrant family.
My colleagues had been worried the parent was stressing her child with unreasonable demands; the parent was worried the school was denying her child a competitive education. Deep down, I sided with the parent. How many times had I, a second-generation American parent of Indian descent, demanded more rigorous work for my child? How many times had teachers thought I pushed my child too hard? To push my daughter to her greatest potential while also holding her hand is my idea of good parenting. It’s how I was raised. But as a Third Culture Kid (TCK), defined by the late sociologist Ruth Hill Useem as someone raised in a culture other than that of their caregivers, I had grown up in the American education system. Therefore, I could translate between the cultures and keep the conflict at bay.
This is the beginning of an article that I have written about a term I have coined, transcultural acculturation, and has been published on Learning for Justice’s website. This week, I’d like to encourage you to read the article on the original site: https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/moving-from-bicultural-to-transcultural-acculturation. There are numerous teaching tips for everyone who works with Third Culture Kids. Let me know what y’all think.