To All the Teachers of Third Culture Kids

Quick link: Dear Teachers

Today at Brain Child my essay is up about the teachers who have helped my kids in so many different countries, languages, and school systems. We have been so thankful over the years for the people who have invested in our children. It isn’t easy, to take a kid who speaks no French or who is going through major culture shock or grieving various losses, and help them thrive.

Dear Teachers

We are an American family living in Djibouti and my kids attend a French school. Their first days of preschool were the first days they spent entirely and only surrounded by the French language.

I am not a teacher. I think I might explode, or implode, if I were a teacher. I don’t have all the skills I want my kids to inherit, few parents do. That’s why we need teachers and these are just a few of the skills our teachers have given, alongside an academic education:

Preschool: Communication

At my first parent-teacher meeting, the teacher told all the parents that our children had to ask permission, in polite French, before using the toilet. Then she looked at me.

“Except Lucy,” she said. Lucy was allowed to grab herself, bite her lip, and do a little dance. “Until she learns the words.”

I loved the teacher immediately.

Kindergarten: Empathy

I would make a terrible teacher. This is not a humble brag or an exaggeration. Ask my kids. They want help, I try to explain, they get more confused, dad comes home, and voila! They understand. He’s a teacher.

And so I have needed this other people. Here’s a small way of saying ‘thank you, merci, shukran, and waad mahadsantahay.’

Click here to read: Dear Teachers