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Teaching in an International environment


Moving may be one of the most stress producing experiences a family faces and one of the most disruptive events in a child’s life. Teachers, in particular, have children come through their doors everyday, who are negatively affected by a move, socially, emotionally or academically.


Third Culture Kids (TCK)

“You may not notice her. At first glance, she may appear perfectly comfortable -- these kids are chameleons, adept at taking on the colors of each new environment they are plunged into. She looks and sounds like the other kids in her class; she wears the same kind of clothes, has the same gadgetry, carries the same backpack. Perhaps she comes to your attention because she is having adjustment problems, like any other new kid on the block. She isn’t making friends easily, doesn’t join group activities. She is withdrawn, uncooperative, angry or disruptive. Or maybe she’s been diagnosed and labeled, but it doesn’t seem to explain everything.” What you don’t know and can’t see is that she is a Third Culture Kid (TCK) a child who has moved in and out of foreign countries as her parents have transferred around the world. Born into one culture, raised among others, her identity is most closely aligned with others raised like her, moving internationally. She is not “from” anywhere. Feeling out of place is only the tip of the iceberg. She is struggling through yet another adaptation, another culture shock, another free fall.”


Teacher Support Program (TSP)

The intention of TSP is to bring awareness, sensitivity, insight and knowledge to teachers, school social workers and counselors. The TSP brings attention to the child who has moved and recognizes the potential for this to be an opportunity for growth for the child but also a potential danger related to the negative responses to moving and being the “new kid.” Thinking that children are resilient and will “get over it” generally is not helpful in our attempts to see the world through a child’s eyes.


Contact me for further information about the Teacher Support Program.


Bettina Hemmingsen

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