By Kellianne Holland
Early Childhood Education Major, College of Education
A classroom is a diverse place where students of different ages, genders, cultures, socio-economic standings and religions all come together to learn. Therefore, it is important for teachers to promote diversity in the classroom. By doing so, students can learn the values of respect, acceptance and community. In addition, teaching tolerance in the classroom will result in students applying their knowledge and education to their homes and communities. Here are four ways to celebrate diversity in your classroom:
Create an Observance Calendar
Students in your class may celebrate different holidays in their cultures. During the holiday season, give your students the opportunity to talk about the different holidays that they may observe and the traditions that they may have. Add these holidays to the class calendar for all to see!
Pronounce Names Correctly
Students who come from different cultural backgrounds may have unique names that you have never heard of. Learn to pronounce their names properly. By doing so, you are respecting the student and showing an interest in their cultural background. Take the time to get to know each of your students by learning their names so that you can connect with them!
Read About It
There are many different books about diversity that students of all ages can read. Scholastic finds like “All Kinds of Families” by Mary Ann Hoberman or “I, Too, Am America” by Langston Hughes teach children about the different backgrounds and families that we all come from.
Host a Cultural Fair
If you have a diverse classroom, you may want to consider putting together a cultural fair. An event like this allows students to show off their culture as well as learn about the other cultures represented by their classmates. Students can dress in traditional clothes, bring cultural food, play games from different countries and teach each other about some of the customs and traditions in their culture.
These are just several different ways to promote diversity in the classroom. There are so many ways to celebrate one another’s differences, and the classroom is a place full of possibilities!
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