In the classrooms and schools today, cultural diversity is rising. The biggest challenge for teachers in our schools today and within the classrooms is how to amend their curriculum to meet all the needs of the students in the relation of culture. For a teacher in a multicultural diverse classroom, a teacher needs to augment their cultural understanding, shape their curriculum so that it is culturally related to all their students in the classroom, and to use supportive learning education. With these practices in place and along with other structural planning, it is important for the precise connection between multicultural teachings of students in a classroom (Merlino, 2007). The first step to accommodating students is to enhance cultural sensitivity from diverse cultural in the classroom. This requires teachers to interpret their multicultural diverse student’s behaviors within the cultural perspective of the child (Merlino, 2007). The environment in a classroom is an essential part to learning. The atmosphere in the classroom helps determine the accomplishment of the lessons being taught and the student’s behavior. All students are different, and therefore it is important for all students to respect one another in order for the efficiency of a classroom to be optimized (Ganly, 2008).
The importance for a teacher is that they are able to create an atmosphere of tolerance, acceptance, and caring within the classroom. This is in order to provide for all the diversified needs for all students. Living in Melbourne which is located in Florida. Melbourne is about two hours from Orlando on the east coast. The population in Melbourne is Caucasian, Hispanic, Latino, African American, German, and Asian. In Melbourne, we have Christian and Baptist churches throughout the city. We also have Catholic, Islam, and Jewish churches as well. The people who live in Melbourne are of low, high, and middle class economic status, but many of the people who live here are middle to low working class. Melbourne seems like a quite little city outside of the busy, bigger city of Orlando, which have many tourists, but we are also diverse in several ways. Practicing tolerance and acceptance in classroom provides all students with the ability to be at ease with themselves. It will also help all students to release predetermined biases and teach the students to learn more about what is within another student instead of judging the student by their appearance.
The use of tolerance, acceptance, and caring provides a nice, comfortable classroom environment for all students that can be productive for their learning experience. This will help encourage teamwork, confidence, and respect that are all a part of the key factors for a flourishing classroom environment (Ganly, 2008). To construct a tolerate, accepting, and caring classroom atmosphere for my students in my classroom, there are many things I can do as a teacher. As a teacher in Melbourne, Florida, I would make sure to discuss diversity to my students and explain why it is an important, positive lesson in the classroom. I can create lesson plans that discuss the cultures of all my students in my classroom and the cultures within in our community. I would also discuss the different religious beliefs of our community. Discussing different religious beliefs in our community to my students lets us discuss their beliefs as well from the different cultures within my classroom.
Discussing to my students about students with disabilities and students who are at risk, is a very important, necessary lesson that I would teach my students. The lesson would be to help my students comprehend that these differences do not make a person less of a person; but these differences make the person just as important as all students. Discussing with my students about socioeconomic issues and how they affect all students in many ways and the differences in gender is important. I believe teaching my students about gender issues is very important because of many gender stereotypes pressure how both females and males learn, and it is important for both genders to be given equal opportunities to learn inside the classroom. Discussing these issues is to help show all of my students that every person has needs, and I would stress that it is important for all students to recognize and help each other in order to benefit themselves along with the cultures that surround them.
Being a teacher, I would want to discuss and teach that the differences in people make them interesting, and by creating lesson plans that would help show my students how their own distinctive differences that will help my classroom function appropriately. My lesson plans will be in place to help my students recognize and overcome their biases. During these lessons, I would also make sure to tell all of the students what I have learned from them by understanding their culture and their beliefs, and that they can find out about themselves and improve themselves. I feel that this is important for students to be conscious of the inequalities that exist so that they can receive the education they deserve, and they can fulfill their educational goals. For me, being a teacher, it is important to make sure that my classroom atmosphere is comfortable to ensure the productivity of all my students. Teaching my students that differences learned from, is a way to help ensure a positive, comfortable, caring, and successful classroom.
As a teacher, I will help all my students understand biases, and I will help them be able to accept the differences of the people and the cultures around them. I believe there are many ways a teacher can incorporate diversity lessons into their classroom. Getting to know your students is important to the understanding of their individual needs. I can learn about my students by working to assemble information about my students in the beginning of the course so that I can better meet their learning needs and their goals for learning, I can incorporate the experiences of nontraditional aged students into the classroom to develop classroom discussions and learning activities, I can recognize and provide assistance for my students with any physical and learning disabilities that they may have, such as test taking accommodations, supplemental class instruction, and reading (Stanley, n.d). Other ways to help me teach my diverse classroom are to:
•Learn about my students’ different cultural backgrounds. This can be done by informally asking them about weekend plans or as simply reading historical books about their culture. •Giving all of my student’s equal amounts of respect. Avoid giving privileged treatment to anyone in the class, as this can easily be misinterpreted as discrimination. •Realizing that a student’s sexual preference has nothing to do with his or her ability to master material and contribute to classroom discussions. I would want to play it safe and do not ask about their private lives. •Avoid making assumptions about students’ attentiveness based on their physical appearance and behavior. Different cultures emphasize different ways of showing respect and attention. •Being sensitive to the students’ lives at home. A rough or distracting home environment can affect a child’s performance in school. Giving students the benefit of the doubt and being as understanding as I can be is important.
•Use a wide variety of teaching strategies that accommodate different learning styles. •Encouraging my students to respect and enjoy their diverse cultural heritages. Creating Food days and festivals is a way to celebrate diversity and also having fun with all students in every culture (Stanley, n.d). In order to incorporate multicultural diversity in my classroom, I will create a bulletin board that will display multicultural diversity. The bulletin board will display the different cultures and religions in my geographic area. The bulletin board will also display many occupations that the student’s parents are currently involved in throughout the surrounding areas. I will also be sure to create an atmosphere of tolerance, acceptance, and caring in my classroom. This is important because I want all of my students to feel welcomed, and valued which I believe will promote fewer impulses to act out. With the atmosphere set for my classroom, it will make my students feel accepted, they will have no reasons to worry. I want my students to feel comfortable in their environment. After all, my classroom will be their learning environment for almost a year. For my bulletin board, I want to display the different ethnic backgrounds.
I will make sure that the bulletin’s border will consist of different flags from around the world. In my area, there are many different cultures but the six main cultures are African American, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, Latino, and German. I will make sure that these flags are displayed on the border that and will be hung around the edges of my bulletin board. To display many different religions in my classroom, I will make sure that the different symbols will be displayed throughout the board. I will make sure that Christianity, Catholic, Islam, Baptist, and Jewish symbols are displayed correctly to district guidelines regarding religion in school. For my classroom bulletin board, it will also contain fun information for all of my students to learn from. This bulletin board will change every month, and it will contain all of the different cultural holidays that we as a class can celebrate each month.
The bulletin board will also contain different images that are associated with these different holidays with information that describes these holidays. Within my bulletin board, I will also include the birthdays of each of my students to remind them that they are all special (Ganly, 2008). The challenge as a teacher, I will encounter in the increasingly diverse society that we have in our country today. It will require me to use many of the best practices that I know to accommodate all of my students. A culturally diverse curriculum is the necessity no matter who is sitting at the desks in my classroom. The humanity that our children will enter when they leave my classroom will be different, by being more complex and considerably more diverse than it is today.
Students that are taught to respect and be inquisitive about different cultures will eventually develop a better understanding of the cultural differences that exist all around them. With this understanding, it will help them to be enhanced citizens and be more productive members of their culture. Both teachers and students need to embrace cultural diversity. Professional, reflective practitioners need to lead the way by ensuring all students learn the suitable content within the context of their own culture and every culture (Merlino, 2007).
Ganly, S. (2008). The Benefits of Diversity in the Classroom on the Teaching Environment. Associated Content, Inc. Retrieved March 24, 2011 from www.associatedcontent.org Merlino, R. (2007). Addressing Cultural Diversity in the Classroom. Helium.com. Retrieved March 26, 2011 from www.helium.com Stanley, C. (n.d.). Teaching Tips for the Success of All Students in a Diverse Classroom. Retrieved March 30, 2011 from www.cte.tamu.edu