In June, I’ll be moving from Hawaii back home to Austin, TX. I spent 22 years in Texas, surrounded by a large Hispanic (mostly Mexican) population. I myself am half Mexican. But as for teaching experience? I’ve taught approximately two Hispanic kids in the past two years. Here in Central Oahu, the student population is mainly comprised of Japanese, Hawaiian, Filipino, Samoan, Micronesian, and Chuukese ethnicities.
So when I accepted a teaching job in Texas for next school year, I couldn’t help but worry. Will I be facing a major culture shock? It’s kind of ironic, I realize. I was born and raised in the area, I’m obviously super familiar with the Hispanic culture. But teaching is a different story. I’ve finally reached a point where I feel qualified to teach Hawaiian mythology and “local, Pidgin kine poetry.” I feel comfortable discussing and analyzing the differences and similarities of Asian cultures. I’ve finally mastered the stereotypes, resentments, and unspoken bonds between these groups here — it’s been incredibly hard; the islands are home to such a diverse population — it’s nothing like Texas.
So will my teaching suffer?
Will it be like my first year all over again?
What about my ELL kids? Will I know how to accommodate them? Is it the same?