Monday, February 9, 2009

Diversity in the Classroom

How could you, as a teacher, learn about the diversity in your classroom and get to know your students from multiple perspectives? Make sure to reference the readings and our class discussions.

I have thought about this long and hard, for many days, especially recently in light of this class and our discussions. To learn about the diversity within your class, you have to show a true interest in your students and the families that they come from. The teacher must be willing to share things about themselves that make them unique and embrace every student's uniqueness and treat it as a treasure to the class. To learn about the diversity in the classroom, teachers must be willing to let the students share what is on their minds, delve into readings and assignments on a personal level, and connect school to home life. If the techer makes the classroom monotone and one dimensional, the students feel less compelled to engage and interact with the classroom, teacher and academics.

I have noticed in my current field placement, that my students bring a lot of diversity to the classroom. I feel that the CT does not embrace and use the diversity in his classroom to his advantage, which frusterates me...ALOT. The CT determines how his class and students should be and he goes by that. For example, there are two students in our class from other countries ( Cuba and Pakistan). Instead of using the knowledge that these students hold to further our class discussions and understandings, he puts these students in the lowest reading groups and almost passes the children off. I wish that the CT would engage the information that the children bring to the classroom in a more positive way.

When I become a teacher, I hope to begin the school year with the students creating autobiographies, and investigating what/who makes up each student's family. I hope that in doing this we can read books about families and heritages to enhance our classroom environment. I hope that within the first week of school, the students realize that I value diversity and thus our classroom is a safe place. I am not worried about incorporating diversity in my classroom because it is something that is personally very valuable to me.

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