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Multiculturally Diverse Classroom Presentation

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Pauline Santos

on 4 December 2012

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Transcript of Multiculturally Diverse Classroom Presentation

The Path to a
Multicultural Classroom Why does it matter? Education that is Multicultural Our nation is like trail mix -- there are all sorts of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and classes that make up who we are as a country. There is no denying the fact that everyone encounters diversity, whether it be at school, work, or even just going to the grocery store. It is important we incorporate multiculturalism in the classroom to educate our students about diversity, as well as making sure we provide an education that is suitable for all. Schools are becoming more diverse, and pretty soon certain minorities will not be the minority. Also, there is more to differences than just black and white. We must know these so we can treat our students fairly and provide equal opportunity for all. Since I will come across students who do not know how to speak English (or only know limited English), I know it is important to help these students learn to speak English at a proficient level. With that said, I would also like to get rid of the "I live in America, I shouldn't have to press "1" for English!" mentality. Our country is diverse, and while it is important to learn English, it would benefit students to know a thing or two about other languages and be aware that not everyone speaks the same language or dialect. Some things I would include to help foster language are:
Labels on objects to help English Language Learners.
A bulletin board with different ways to greet people in other languages (such as Hello, Hola, Konnichiwa, etc.). Then I would greet my students in the mornings using a different word each week.
Books that incorporate foreign words or phrases, like Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto. A Language-Rich Environment Religion in the classroom has been a big debate and still is. Many people believe religion should kept out of schools completely. However, I think students should be made aware of different religions because not everyone in the classroom believe in the same things. I would educate my students about different beliefs, but I would not teach them what to believe. Despite my religious beliefs, I must be unbiased and sensitive to my students' religion. Some strategies I can use include:
Avoiding anything witch/ghost/monster related during Halloween since they are seen as evil icons by many, and teaching children about the different holidays people celebrate during the Christmas season.
Educating myself about different religions so I can learn to be sensitive to students' religious preferences. Keeping Religion Out of the Classroom? Bullying doesn't just happen in higher grades. Even younger children bully or get bullied. This is something I need to be aware of because bullying isn't always easy to spot. Usually, both the bully and the victim are reluctant to admit that it is happening. I should learn how to recognize bullying and stop it in its tracks. To prepare myself for bullying in school, I should:
Familiarize myself with all forms of bullying (direct, non-direct, verbal, physical, cyber-bullying, etc.)
Create consistent consequences for bullying and make sure students know and that I follow through.
Work together with other staff members to keep an eye out for bullying, especially repeat offenders.
Let students know what they should do if they or someone they know is being bullied.
Firmly confront those who are guilty of bullying and let them know what they are doing is wrong. No Tolerance for Bullying The best kind of education we can provide is a multicultural one. No student should be denied the resources and opportunities they need in order to succeed in the classroom. Each child is different and we should include a multicultural curriculum in order to meet individual needs. As teachers, we need to examine ourselves and pinpoint any ideals that would keep us from modeling equity. Only then can we successfully instill respect and acceptance in our students. It would be naive to think that ignoring the differences in ethnicity, race, and culture among students would help avoid problems such as racism. Addressing these differences in the classroom and educating students and myself about them is key. This is why I would make sure to include activities that help celebrate our cultural differences rather than try to push them aside. Some of my ideas include:
Using different ways to represent the idea of being ethnically different, yet treating others with respect regardless. (Example: Show students how a white egg and a brown egg are different in color, but are the same on the inside and how it models the way we should treat others. Then let them decorate their own eggs and discuss how each one is unique and why.)
Reading stories that incorporate different cultures (such as Birthdays in Around the World by Mary D. Lankford), and making sure these kinds of books are readily available in our class library.
Hosting a Culture Fair in class and inviting students' family members to share samples of food from their culture and discuss some of their values/traditions with the class. Celebrating Ethnicity, Race, and Culture The idea of inclusion is becoming more supported by many people. Children with disabilities should be allowed access to the same resources and activities as everyone else. I want to make sure I include them in the classroom as well as satisfy their individual needs. I also want to change students' negative ideas they may have about those who are different from them so that they learn to be more accepting. This can be done by educating them and myself (so I can model a positive outlook since students pick up on teacher cues). I would make sure children with disabilities have the same learning opportunities by:
Giving written, spoken, and demonstrated instructions.
Providing visual materials, such as a visual schedule.
Promoting a positive attitude about a child's disability. (Example: If students start whispering about a child's wheelchair, invite the child in the wheelchair to show it off and ask him to teach us about it.)
Including books in the library that have characters with a disability. (Example: Tacos Anyone? by Marvie Ellis) Including Children with Disabilities Many children feel pressured to do what society thinks they should do according to their gender. Such pressure may discourage them from following their dreams. For example, Johnny may feel discouraged from becoming a hairdresser, and Sarah may feel she can't play the drums. In order to get rid of gender biases in the classroom, I would show my students that it is very acceptable for boys to do what girls stereotypically do, and vice versa by:
Hanging up occupation posters with pictures of a male nurse, a female cop, a male teacher, etc.
Discussing with the class how these stereotypes came to be and coming up with different ways to say "mailman", ballerina", "policeman", etc. together. Breaking Gender Stereotypes I know I will have students who come from different locations and different schools sizes and have different accents. Some may be used to a large school in the city while others only know what it's like to be in a small school where everyone knows each other's names. Either way, I will make sure each student has enough individual attention from me and that each voice can be heard. I also want to make my students aware of how schools can differ based on location. I would do these things by:
Discussing the differences between rural and urban.
Asking students what they think are the differences between a school in a city in Florida and a school in less-populated Alaska and why.
Asking students who moved from far away to describe what it was like to live in their previous location.
Making sure I do not lower my expectations of my students based on where they came from and instead focus on individual needs. Town Mouse, Country Mouse If I want to have my students' best interests and well-being in mind, it is important for me to understand the way 3rd graders behave and why. That way if one of my students is acting out of character for a serious reason, I would know it is a red flag and can choose the best course of action. Children may start acting a certain way because of a family loss, divorce, depression, mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and more. As a teacher, I need to make sure my students feel safe and know they can talk to a responsible adult if they need to. Some of the things I can do to ensure this include:
Interacting with my students often and individually to see how they are doing and to show that I care. I can ask them how their weekend went or if they are feeling stressed out.
Keeping an eye out for sudden withdrawal or acting out.
Reporting if I suspect any type of abuse. Understanding the Youth Money doesn't grow on trees, so I can't expect all parents to have access to technology or be able to provide food for a class party. I have to be sensitive to this and make sure parents and their children do not feel pressured to spend money when they don't have to. Doing so could lead to a student feeling left out or parents feeling embarrassed when they cannot financially provide for something. I can keep this from happening by:
Making sure parents understand that volunteering to buy supplies for class parties is completely optional.
Sending home hard copies of letters, updates, documents, progress reports, etc. just in case parents do not have access to email or internet.
Allowing students to bring generic brands of school supplies instead of name brand (and having extras in my class just in case they cannot afford some supplies). Keeping Socioeconomic Status in Mind Accommodating 3rd graders from all walks of life! A great parent-teacher relationship can come from making sure parents have the opportunity to be involved in their child's education. Different cultures have different views on education, and while some parents take the initiative to be involved as much as possible, others take a step back and just let the teacher handle it. I want to make sure parents are well-informed about what is going on in the classroom and are often given updates and a heads-up on what to expect. I would do this by:
Sending home weekly newsletters.
Creating a class blog and post photos of activities, field trips, parties, and more. I would also send home hard copies for those who do not have access to the internet.
Inviting parents/guardians to class parties and field trips.
Giving parents/guardians various means of contact with me. Don't Forget the Parents
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