February 13 – the brown boys

204/365 – people to thank who have had an impact on me. Yesterday, I wrote about the white boys – most of them in my senior Marketing class and today it’s about the brown boys, most of them in my junior Marketing class. As I’ve made mention on social media, the school I am presently at has the most ethnically diverse population of all the schools in the district I work in. Blacks, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Brazilians, Chinese, Whites, Indians – the list goes on and I absolutely love the diversity in my classes. Being Indo-Canadian and growing up and presently living in a predominantly white/Caucasian area, I’m always a little taken aback when I find myself with a lot of other Indians as I know deep down it’s because I don’t think I will/do measure up to my own ethnic background. This new semester, I find myself in a class of 30 students of which 17 are of Indian nationality (7 girls 10 boys) and 7 of those boys and 4 girls are of the same ethnic/cultural heritage as myself (Punjabi Sikh – although I don’t really practice the faith). I was overwhelmed and the boys have already commented on the fact that I’m not very Indian – at first, I took this as slight disrespect but I couldn’t really argue the fact but as the days have progressed, I can see that it wasn’t meant that way and they are joking with me as I walk by in the halls and asking me about career-related and life advice – I am being accepted. This is so very strange to me to be somewhat of a role-model to these young men that I have very little in common with except for my skin colour. One of them remarked that I am not like the other Indian male teachers at the school as this is my only and main job – LOL, because like the stereotype, a few of those other teachers build homes/develop properties on the side (or is it teaching on the side 😉 ). I am so very excited to have these boys in the class as I know they will learn a lot about the subject area but I also hope I can give them a different take on what it is to be an Indo-Canadian male and I also hope to learn from them to understand my own Indo-Canadian teenage boy. Cheers to a very different classroom make-up that will allow for all sorts of learning to take place.

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