When I am beginning to learn to appreciate the diversity and varieties of others, I must first examine my own self not only as a learner but also as a whole culturally. There are a lot of different influences that factor into and contribute into how my cultural identity was shaped. The culture of my “home” is a big part of what has shaped me into the person I am today, although there are many other factors that I will discuss later on. All of these things that will be discussed is what helped shape me into myself culturally and will help me learn about the diversity of others.Order now
First I must begin by describing and depicting my neighborhood that I grew up in, Black Creek, and now live in, Southbridge. Seeing that I still live with my mom, both the neighborhoods that I grew up in and now live in are very similar to each other. Describing them both together as one and rarely separating them into groups would be the most ideal thing to do. Growing up and while I was living in Black Creek, I had neighbors that were homosexuals. They were the nicest and most humble women you would have ever met and would do anything for anyone.
The two women have a son they had adopted that was a few years younger than myself. Growing up I had a good perspective on situations like that, where as some people may not have. Though it may not be “right,” that does not make them bad people. Though it is not what this culture is used to, it does not mean that it is not happening and they are not good people. My family was never judgmental toward them for their sexual preference and different lifestyles, and they turned out to be the best neighbors that we have ever had! To my family and I whether or not they were gay did not matter.
It was the fact that no matter what, they were true to us as friends. Though we had great neighbors, there was also those that were a little on the eccentric side. There was a family of three that moved in across the street from me growing up. They had a son that was also a couple of years younger than me and I got invited to come over and “play” by his mother. They were from Michigan so they dressed a little different and talked a little funnier than all of my other neighbors. I was not used to what we now call “Northerners” being down south. They did things a lot differently than we did.
They ate differently, decorated differently, and even had different toys. But I was branching out and learning to get along with others from different cultures and different people. When we moved to Southbridge, we received new neighbors and they were also from up north. This past experience helped me get through this new one when meeting the new family next door. In both my neighborhoods that I lived and live in now, the houses and cars are somewhat the same. They are all around two story houses with your typical neighborhood feel and backyard.
They sit close together and are characteristic of your middle class neighborhood houses. The cars you would see would sometimes range. Seeing that my old neighborhood was more in the country, you see more pick up trucks with “big tires” and “squeaky clean. ” But in my neighborhood now you see more cars and SUV type cars because we are closer to the city. Funny how things change the farther away from Savannah you get. Black Creek and Southbridge are both neighborhoods with golf clubs. Therefore, the main activity that was encouraged in both was golfing.
Though I tried a couple of times growing up, it never stuck with me. But my brother on the other hand, it stuck with him and his friends. He grew up playing golf and enjoyed playing in both neighborhoods we lived in. Riding bikes was also another big activity that we loved to do. We did it every day and every afternoon, but as long as we were finished with our homework, Mom’s orders. Along the same lines, we loved riding the golf cart, until my parents learned the law about driving under the age of 16 being illegal. Let’s just say I did not really drive it much after that.
Being outside was the best. Anything we could do outside was the way to go. The best and number one value that was expressed in our community was family. Family always came first. Family means everything. In our community growing up, everyone was family and if you needed something, it was just a phone call away. Someone always had your back. Whenever I think of values in a community, I think of people coming together to support each other in well-being, happiness, and achievement. I think of people reaching across obstacles and getting to know other people who are different from them.
I think of people being thoughtful of their neighbors and polite to one another. This is what I remember about my community growing up, and it is much different than the community I am in now. Southbridge’s people do not have the hearts of those and do not consider anyone around them family. They keep to themselves. When growing up there was one main religion that was everywhere. Every church you looked at on every corner you turned was a Baptist church. That is what I grew up as. But moving to Southbridge it was a different story.
In Savannah there is a different domination church on every corner that one may choose to attend. This was much different to adjust to for me coming from all Baptist to multiple religions. In both communities education was perceived and valued in a very strong way. The experiences I have had in my neighborhoods have contributed to my cultural understanding of other people. Each experience has given me a different outlook on different situations. It showed me different situation and types of lifestyle events that may occur in my future and has helped me be able to go about dealing with such situations.
My life “around the block” has helped prepare me for understanding the home learning environment of my future students. This is because students learn through past experiences. If I can relate my own past experiences to them, they will be able to better understand and grasp the situation and learning objective of the lesson. How is it fair to teach one something if I cannot relate to it myself? But with that being said, as a teacher I need to be able to not only relate to those students that have experiences like myself, but to all of my students. That is why my life “around the block” and others experiences can help me to do so.
Like I said before, being a teacher I need to be able to relate to all of my students not only on a personal level, but also a cultural level. Therefore my experiences in my life with those I have grown up with, worked with, babysat, etc. who have different cultural contexts than myself will help influence me as a teacher to further my skills in helping educate my students. This is because I can now relate to a variety of students not just a handful. I will use things that helped me learn to teach them, but I will also look at things that may not have helped me learn in order to advance my students as learners.
I am beginning to learn to appreciate the diversity and varieties of others, and this is because I first examined my own self not only as a learner but also as a whole culturally. There are a lot of different influences that factored into and contributed to how my cultural identity was shaped. The culture of my “home” is a big part of what has shaped me into the person I am today. All of these things that were discussed is what helped shape me into myself culturally, helped me learn about the diversity of others, and teach my students to the absolute best of my ability in the future.