- How does understanding culture and power impact your teaching?
Understanding culture is understanding your own identity. Teachers must provide a safe environment within the classroom where students are seen, valued, cared for, and respected. As a teacher you can show you value your students’ culture by learning about their culture, building curriculum around personal narratives, or incorporating identity-based responses into the study. It is important to bring community members in your classroom, to share their knowledge and to help create a feeling of openness. The classroom should be the place where students feel comfortable defining their own cultural identities. As a teacher you should take time to explore each culture within your class, and infuse in your students the fact that they should be proud of their culture.
- Pick three terms that resonate with you from the Multicultural Education word wall.
Define the terms and discuss why you chose these three terms.
From the Multicultural Education word wall I chose: Tolerance, Transformation, and Respect.
Tolerance means to accept and embrace other races, religions, cultures, ideas,and values without prejudice or judgement. Tolerance ties with respect; respecting others even if they might have different opinions, values, and beliefs. Children are brought into this world without biases, but even from early age they adopt values from their peers or the adults in their life. It is our job as teachers to introduce tolerance in our classroom, by deeply listening to what others have to say and to reflect about the feelings, and wisdom behind what they say.
Respect in the classroom is defined by trusting the integrity of others, believing they have the right to their opinions, and valuing them even if they are different than yours. As teachers we need to make sure, everyone’s voice is being heard and valued.
In order to transform others, you need to start with the transformation within yourself. As a teacher you need to let go of all biases, and create a sense of belonging in your classroom. Be open to learn new things every day from your students, and from people around you.
- Describe your plan to teach in a culturally responsive way in the coming year. Include teaching strategies you might employ as well as content/units you will implement.
I feel I learned so much in the last three weeks, from all the wonderful teachers that came to share their experience with us. I would like to create in my classroom a community based on strong relationships where students will feel comfortable sharing their ideas. We each have a curriculum that needs to guide us, but how we chose to teach it is up to us. By engaging students to question, consult original sources, make observations, test hypotheses, collect, and analyze data, you teach them not to settle with the obvious answer. I want to use in my classroom story books to introduce new concepts, Math Trails to apply skills and knowledge with other peers, place-based learning to acquire a deeper knowledge through exploration, and community members.