“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” –Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird
Point of view. We talk about this concept often at school. In English class students analyze how different characters have different points of view. In social studies students discuss how our understanding of history changes and why we view events differently from the people who lived them. In Bible class they learn about opposing worldviews and how to think and respond Christianly.
I think Atticus Finch was right about understanding other people, but I also think that by considering other viewpoints we better understand our own. As a teacher at LCS, one of the best ways I have learned more about my point of view is in working with our international students. The more I learn about our students from other places, the more I understand how my culture affects how I view the world.
It is enlightening to see American culture and our school culture through the eyes of international students. What seems normal and everyday to me—like monthly fire drills, students marching in the Christmas parade, and Friday night football games– is completely new and strange to them. Every year I explain to new students what “make-up work” is and why we crown a Homecoming king and queen. But best of all, when I talk about the Bible with our international students, I get to see the stories of Jesus through the eyes of someone who has never read them before.
Our culture definitely shapes our perspective of the world. In a time where the culture around us seems to be rapidly changing in values and perspectives, I am grateful to be in a place like LCS, where above all the culture reminds both teachers and students to view all things “in the light of God’s Word!”
Miss Kala Walls serves LCS as a 6th grade Social Studies teacher, and as the International Student Program Coordinator. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.