As you might already know, I am interested in third-culture kids. Not only am I one (my husband too) but I’m raising one and work with them every day at school. TCKs are children who “spend their formative years” outside their home culture, but will eventually return there to live. Our international schools are full of TCKs, but as much as we mean too, I don’t think we talk to kids enough about how they are connected to each other and therefore have a linked, important community of understanding. My position has always been that elementary students are the perfect age to begin the dialogue about how we are connected in our uniqueness. It is with the youngest that I see potential for them to begin viewing their experiences as opportunities rather than burdens. Even with the connections the internet provides our kids, we all know it is one thing to be an American or Australian or Italian living and learning in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, or Russia and another to never leave your home country. You can’t prevent kids from comparing those lives and learning from them. For some, they will feel lost. For others, and this is where I think teachers and schools come in, they can feel a sense of strength and connection knowing there are a lot of us out there living this way, and we are positioned to help shape the world.
It is a small idea. One you are welcome to share with your own students. To help me, I wrote a children’s picture book years ago which is available on Amazon. The follow-up has not made it out of my computer to the publisher (Trafford) because my own life and interests have gotten in the way. However, it is available on Slideshare for you to download and use with your students if you are interested. Enjoy!