What is a Third Culture Kid? One of Shorecrest’s newest additions to its outstanding faculty, Mr. Daniel Asad, knows because he considers himself one. It essentially boils down to someone who grew up influenced by multiple varied cultures.
Mr. Asad “had Indian parents, ate Indian food and spoke Hindi at home,” but grew up in Paraguay, Brazil, and Germany, providing a plethora of diverse perspectives and ways of life. He remembers going to American International Schools, which are institutions designed to follow a US- or UK-based curriculum, serving expatriate populations.
His friends growing up were international, and he had unique opportunities to “eat with the military attache from South Africa” or “have dinner with the Thai ambassador to Paraguay.” These influential adults were not just diplomatic officials, but also his friends’ parents, and he recalls “backyard debates” with them over the foreign policy issues of the day.
The South African perspective was particularly interesting, as it offered a view inside the Apartheid government. He credits his initial interest in history and social studies to these experiences.
After graduating from USF and teaching in Paraguay, Maryland and Michigan, he returned to Florida to take the open history slot at Shorecrest. Already, he has brought new ideas to the ninth grade curriculum, including a storyboard of "The Epic of Gilgamesh," and other project-based learning.
As for the AP World History class, sophomore Hunter H says that Mr. Asad, “fills every single class with enthusiasm, no matter what, and he does it in a way I’ve never seen before.” Sophomore Adrianna L noted, “his class is my favorite this year. He makes history fun.”
As for future plans? While he “can’t promise anything yet,” Mr. Asad says his goal it to turn the ninth grade curriculum’s focus away from ancient history and more toward current events.
Whatever changes come, Mr. Asad will make them great.
(This article was originally published in the December 2015 issue of "The Chronicle", the Shorecrest student newspaper. Republished with permission.)