Originally published on thefrisky.com
When teaching in a culturally diverse environment, it is essential to consider all the backgrounds of the students. The slightest differences can seriously affect how a student absorbs the material being taught.
As not all students learn the same, teachers need to adapt to their students as this improves not only their own chances of success but also the success of the students.
To help you get started, here are seven ways teachers and educators can do precisely that, detailed by devoted coach and mentor, Seth Coffing.
1.Take Time to Get to Know Each Student Individually
The first step to determine what each student needs is to get to know them. Adding a personal touch to each lesson will help students better relate to the material, and in turn, will aid in absorbing it.
Take a moment to meet each student individually to learn their backgrounds and get a better idea of their unique needs.
2. Learn About Each Culture in the Classroom
Doing your research on each student’s culture goes a long way.
The students and their parents will appreciate that you put in the effort to learn about their culture.
It will also prepare you for otherwise unexpected situations in the classroom.
3. Highlight the Different Backgrounds in Your Teaching Materials
Celebrating and educating everyone on the cultures and backgrounds of your students through teaching materials is a great way to make students feel comfortable and happier in the classroom.
It will also spread awareness amongst the students, making the environment much more accepting and kind.
4. Open Your Eyes to Inequality
This may be the hardest part of being an educator but is probably the most important. Many students’ main struggle with success at school has to do with inequality, which means they must work much harder than their classmates for them to thrive.
Realizing that some students are less privileged and face more barriers than others can be difficult. However, it’s crucial to understand and provide those students with extra help for them to succeed.
5. Be Involved with Parents and the Community
When their parents and community are more supportive of your students’ education, they are more likely to flourish.
Therefore, understanding the home environment and community, your students are living can be quite an advantage, and can help you figure out how to adjust your teaching to fit their needs.
6. Incorporate Their Linguistic Characteristics
If there are students in your classroom who speak English as a second language, it may be beneficial to learn some of their linguistic characteristics to explain standard English grammar better.
Rather than view ESL students as having a disadvantage, look at it as a learning opportunity for both you and them.
7. Encourage All Students to Participate
Lastly, don’t forget that participation amongst all students is crucial, especially in a diverse classroom, when some may feel hesitant to participate because of their background and/or identity. When each student feels comfortable voicing their understanding of topics, it lets you know how well they’re grasping the subject and fosters strength and curiosity.
Promoting students to express their opinions on certain matters also gives valuable input that you can use to create a more welcoming classroom, which leads to success.
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