One of the reasons I chose Elementary Education was that I love children, and I assume most others in this major would say the same thing. As elementary teachers, we have the opportunity to interact with children all day. While I know they can be difficult at times, during this summer I have come to really appreciate children. They are the same all over the world and remind us that we are all human.
At the beginning of my study abroad in Spain this April, I was feeling homesick and a little strange being in a different country with a different culture. However, one evening my roommate and I shopped along the city’s Main Street. I was charmed by all the children and families I saw enjoying a Saturday evening. Despite Spain having its own culture, the children still played, laughed, and got in trouble just like the children at home. It dawned on me that maybe Spain wasn’t so different and strange after all. I felt much more at home, and they continued to cheer me up whenever I saw them.
Similarly, Cambodia has felt a little different and strange at times. One particular day we were meeting some people who lived in little huts close to the big tourist attraction, Angkor Wat. I was quite saddened by their poverty and felt a little guilty and uncomfortable for all the things I have that I had taken for granted. But everything seemed okay when I saw the children playing around—playing hopscotch on the dirt or entertaining themselves with small, simple toys. I realized that children bring comfort and cheer because they remind us that we are more alike than we think. No matter how different a situation seems or how big a gap between cultures there is, there are always children that act and look (as well as how cute they are) the same everywhere in the world. Children are always running around, playing games, being excited, smiling, getting into mischief, and doing other child-like things. Because of these experiences, I am even more excited to be working with children when I become a teacher. I look forward to continuing to learn from them.