After spending a semester looking deeply into diverse learning, it has been a blessing and sort of a curse that I see everything differently. With
Christmas Winter Break fast approaching, it puts it in perspective that not everyone celebrates Christmas, but society makes it seem like a norm – so it’s okay to address it as such. I thought this was a good time to address how I will address diverse issues in my classroom.
I can see myself addressing diversity in my classroom in a multitude of ways. One would be just changing my attitude and phrases towards different things. I tend to say, “You guys” when talking to a group of people no matter the gender make-up. I can see this possibly offending or belittling some of girl students in a classroom. I am also at fault when asking a male for help when I need something heavy lifted or a jar to be opened that I just can’t crack. Just because you are a male does not necessarily make you stronger than a female. I think by changing simple things such as these can make a lasting effect on my students so their perspective may change as well.
Along with this, I will be conscious of things such as religion, socio-economic status, and diverse topics that may make some students feel alienated in the classroom. I will make sure to not put anyone on the spot by making them feel at a loss because they cannot afford thing; such as bringing in Kleenex boxes for extra credit. I will make sure to have extra supplies for those who are unable to have them, but offer them to the whole class so students do not feel bad for asking. When holidays come around, I will try and address all of them. Making sure that even those that are not going around the “typical holiday time” are not forgotten and at least mentioned.
The different things I mentioned are only a start to the many things that can be done in order to make your classroom understand more about diversity. I think any change, no matter how little, is a start in the right direction. I think most teachers believe that it will take up a lot of time, but just changing your mannerisms about certain ideas can make a big difference. Overall, I want my students to come away from my class and understand that, different is different; not deficient. With accomplishing this goal, my students will have a different outlook on their middle school time. It will not be the time they feel alone, but the time they learned to accept themselves and others around them. I think that acceptance should be the best part about finding your place in the middle.