In elementary school I was surrounded by hundreds of classmates who came from all over the world. This multicultural school was embraced by the Principal, Vice Principal, Teachers and secretaries who worked very hard at embracing all the different cultures and educating all the students on the variety of cultures through multicultural days showcasing the different foods, art, dances, theatre and languages. There was not one year that went by during my 8 years of elementary school that we did not celebrate the diversity, something that I thought was common place until I moved cities and changed schools. This celebration of diversity was an important part of my childhood as it allowed me to understand different cultures and to not be afraid to ask questions. It also allowed me to see that we are all people and although we can look different we all have special values and morals that need to be embraced. Without my positive experiences at school I know that my interests in other cultures may have withered and died. Instead I was left with a strong sense of being apart of a global community.

Once I finished high school, I took some time to travel. My first journey was to Australia. I went to  visit my relatives and to pass the days playing in the ocean. I had the pleasure of staying on a farm for a few days and was taught the ways of catching fresh water Yabbies using Kangaroo meat, minding the grass paddocks and how to shear sheep.

When I had returned back to the city from my farm adventure, I attended concerts featuring all types of music. It was here that I  met up with an Aboriginal man who taught me the art of didgeridoo. He also enlightened me on the phrase “Dreamtime” represents and what it means to be “dreaming.” He informed me that I needed to go on my “walkabout” in order to find my animal, although he was very positive that I was from the Kangaroo. I asked him how he knew and his response was “I just do.”

A few years later I was offered an opportunity to go to China to teach English, an opportunity that I could not give up. I spent just over a month teaching children English through music and sports. Even though I was the teacher the students taught me a lot bout Chinese Culture, different foods and that my hair is “weird” – it got really puffy and big thanks to the humidity. These children also taught me about patience, what it means to be a teacher and how important education is.

A few years later camp I was invited back to teach again. I jumped at the chance as I truly loved my first experience.

The time I spent teaching in China really made me rethink my path in life. Up to this point I was working as a landscaper with an interest to start my own company. Once I came back from China the second time I made the decision to go back to school to become a teacher. I want to give students the same experiences I had in school. Celebrate the fact we are part of a global community and as global citizens we need to look after each other.