Monday 16 Oct 2017

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Third Culture Kids Symposium

I am a triangle… I am a (cultural) chameleon…
 (Illustration from Leo Leoni, A Color of his own; Naomi Hattaway “I am a triangle”)

One of the things we take great pride in at Ecolint is the incredible diversity of our community. The famous pie chart posters we see in our schools representing the range of linguistic and national backgrounds of our students is a constant reminder of this diversity and how privileged we are to share in it. We take it for granted that our students come from globally mobile families. We are a bilingual foundation and yet our student body is frequently bilingual or plurilingual in languages other than French and English. They are Third Culture Kids.

Valerie Besanceney’s excellent Symposium on October 12th provided us the opportunity to reflect on this concept that has such a tremendous impact on the lives of our students. I find myself thinking again and again of the ways in which Ms. Besanceney challenged us to think more broadly about what Third Culture means: blended and fluid sources of personal identity. Her question to us is one that bears further and deeper reflection on all our parts. How do we help children navigate transition from one culture to another? To celebrate the richness of their experiences while acknowledging the losses?