By: Emma Jarvi RBT, Intervention Specialist

One of the most amazing parts about my SkillCorps trip to ASHA in Bangalore, India has been learning about the cultural reasons behind what the teachers teach. At first observing a classroom of teenaged students putting beads on colored pattern sheets and then stringing them on a lace was confusing to me because I thought the students seemed to be capable of more advanced skills that working on patterns and lacing. Why weren’t they challenging these teenagers more? Why the focus on these skills that are often targeted at a much younger age? What I learned was that these students were working on these skills because they are vocational skills–jewelry making is a great and appropriate job for some of these students! It was a true shift in perspective when I heard this. Most of my questions about why they did certain things certain ways were validated by cultural reasons. It really challenged me to think outside of the bubble I exist in in Ohio. Working with the teachers at ASHA helped so much to broaden the horizon of my personal and professional thoughts and assumptions.