One of my greatest memories as a student was when I was in 4th grade. We had a cultural study in which we were placed into groups of three or four, and each group was to study the Christmas tradition of a country whose name we drew from a bowl. My group drew Czechoslovakia. My two partners and I read several books and researched the traditions that were celebrated. Our whole class made decorations, had demonstrations to show the traditions of the culture we studied, and ate special food from the countries.
It is a very vivid memory in my life that my teacher Bev Winkie thought it so important for us to experience other cultures and places. Mrs. Winkie also brought in a guest speaker, Rima, who was from Iran, to share her culture, art, slides, and photos to teach us about her family and culture.
The world seemed to open to me through the experiences Mrs. Winkie gave us in her fourth-grade classroom. Learning about other cultures as a child has changed my life. I want my students to have that same realization through appreciating other people and places. I have made it a personal mission to hold school-wide cultural studies and experiences across the curriculum every year. It is enriching the lives of hundreds of children all because Mrs. Winkie opened my eyes to other cultures at a young age. I appreciate that so much. It made a huge difference. Thank you, Mrs. Winkie.