I believe in a culturally sound classroom. A culturally sound classroom will benefit all students who step into my classroom. I will stand true to hold against my biases and teach fairly to accommodate minorities and majority groups within my classroom. As an educator it is my duty to seek out learning that will benefit all children in my classroom. I will strive everyday to get to know my students better so I can shape lessons around their beliefs and backgrounds to make the knowledge more relevant to them.
Thought on becoming a Multicultural Teacher
I have had a great desire to become a teacher ever since I was little. Coming into this class I didn't know what to expect. At first I was really set in my ways of having biases and not knowing how that would play out in my future classroom. After doing lots of research and activities a few things changed for me. I was able to find what my true biases were and I was able to admit to them which was a big step. I am also now able to know how to correctly handle them in my classroom so I treat everyone fairly. I know now that I can hold those biases but, as a multicultural educator it is my job to withhold them in the classroom and treat everyone fairly. I have changed my ways I see minority groups. I now look at them as more of a majority as their group keeps growing to become a larger part in today's society. I also have changed my opinion on how to teach more information on certain culturally relevant topics that will help expand the child's critical thinking and knowledge.
Concepts that have contributed to the changes in my thinking of teaching are...
1. Social Action Approach
Social Action Approach is where the teacher presents both side to a topic they are teaching and lets the students use there own mind to create a side and use their critical thinking to take action on why they believe the way they do. This approach has changed my way of thinking about teaching because I have never heard of it before. I really appreciate that it gives students the chance to take a stand for what they believe and be able to take action on what they believe. This is something I want to incorporate into my future classroom. Before I had heard of this approach I just thought teachers only had taught the bare minimum because of time restraints. I know I never got the opportunity to take action and believe in something because my teacher gave us the bare minimum to learn from. As a educator I plan on giving my students all the information and access to critically think so they can have a better understanding on topics that can be critically diverse or controversial.
Marginalization is treatment to a group or individual that does not pertain to the person. This means the individual who is being marginalized feels that they do not belong. This is something has changed my thinking of teaching because I have to be able to make my teaching relevant for all students within my classroom because if they become marginalized they will loose interest, stop coming to class, and will not participate. As a teacher it is my job to find out each student's story so I can make lessons relevant to them so they are more engaged. I never realized a student could become marginalized in a classroom until after we learned about it in class. This lesson really opened my eyes and made me realize as a teacher we cant just focus on a lesson and stick to the black and white we have to be able to reach out and make the experience more in depth or personal for students that aren't feeling involved. I know now that in my future classroom I will be sure to help involve all my students so they do not feel left out or marginalized. This will help the success rates in my classroom.
Multiculturalism is the presence of several distinct cultural or ethical groups within a society. This changed my way of thinking because of how much multiculturalism will be effecting our classrooms in a few short years. In about 10 years minority groups will be almost the same size as majority groups within classrooms. This is a major impact on educators. As an educator I must successfully be welcoming to all students that step inside my classroom no matter what their culture, background, or life story is. I must be fair and open to all students. Coming from a rural town where only white people are present makes multiculturalism a big deal in my world. I never have been around other cultures beside my own. White Christians are predominately what I am most comfortable with. With multiculturalism becoming such a large part in education I have to really evaluate my biases, teach to all students, and respect all students. This will be a major test in teaching for me but I know I will be well equipped to teach multicultural education.
4. Culturally Responsive Teaching
Culturally responsive teaching is based on the idea that an individuals culture is central to his or hers learning. Teachers understand and use students’ cultural backgrounds to create meaningful, effective learning environments. This is something that changed my thinking of teaching because I really have to aim my lessons to reach the culture of all students in my classroom. This is important because if I do this I will be making a difference in the student's lives in my classroom and I will also be helping other students expand their knowledge on different cultures. This will affect the way I put together lesson plans and how I execute them. I will need to spend the first few weeks of the school year trying to grasp the knowledge of every ones culture then start to create specific lesson plans that will capture his or her culture directly and make a meaningful learning environment for the students. In my future classroom my plans will have to change every year because I will have different cultures present every year I will have to individualize lesson plans for
5. Hidden Curriculum
Hidden curriculum is defined as the lessons that are informally taught and done intentionally at a school system. As a teacher hidden curriculum is very important within a classroom. This has changed my thoughts on teaching because as a teacher I must establish rules and they must be followed within the school and classroom. These rules should be addressed once then be unspoken of because the students should follow them. One thing I do need to be aware of is the hidden curriculum students from other cultures might already have engraved within them. I need to be aware of their traditions and customs and let them know I don't want them to assimilate but to use our set of rules within my classroom so we can all be treated fairly. I think as a teacher I will also have to use posters to have the small house keeping rules posted in a younger grade classroom because they are still adapting to these rule changes from their homes to the school. As an educator it is my responsibility to teach the students the appropriate way to act while at school. Hidden curriculum can also be stressing to my students how important testing is and how they need to do well on the tests. The students should internalize this and remember that tests are important and to take them seriously. They know this because they were socialized to believe this.
A stereotype is a widely held or fixed and oversimplified idea or image of a particular type of person or thing. I need to be highly aware of stereotyping in and around my classroom. Stereotyping changed my thinking of teaching because I realized I could have a stereotype against disabled kids and want to cut them more slack and not push them as hard because I think that they have had it rough enough. However, through learning I have found that by encoding this message to the student they are decoding it as I know you cant do it so I just wont make you try. As a teacher I need to challenge my students no matter what they have going on so they know I believe in them and know they can do challenging things. Also learning about stereotypes will help me with biases and how to not categorize students by their stereotype. As a teacher I need to not use the grouping system to downgrade or hurt the student but group students in a way that will build them up and become more knowledgeable. I personally know how it feels to be stereotyped and I would never want one of my own kids in my classroom to ever have that happen by me or their peers within the classroom. I will not only be sure I do not do it but I will be sure to make sure other students do not group students so we have a fair playing ground for everybody in my classroom.
7. Ebonics/black English
Ebonics is American Black English regarded as a language in its own right, rather than as a dialect of standard English. This means Ebonics is how African Americans tend to speak in. Ebonics has really changed my way of thinking of teaching. As a student who came from a small rural white community I had never heard a black man or women speak for most of my life. When we went over this lesson in class I was so surprised because the language African Americans speak in is different than how Americans speak. I think this is going to change the way I teach because I will have to make the choice whether or not I let African American students speak Ebonics or not. I think that as a good multicultural teacher I will allow Ebonics in my classroom but will expect the student know when and when it is not appropriate to use it. This being said I might have to play a game like jeopardy to teach them which forms of sentences are correct and which are considered Ebonics. I think I will just have to add this to my lesson plan that way the students understand where I am coming from and that way they learn the knowledge of how to speak without using Ebonics if that time arises for the student.
Bilingualism is having fluency in or use two languages. Bilingualism changed my way of thinking about teaching because I never thought of having a classroom where a student could speak more than English. Throughout this course it became more apparent to me that in my time of teaching I will more than likely have a bilingual student in the presence of my classroom at some point. This being said I know I will have to address the issue if he or she is allowed to use their non English language. As a multicultural teacher I do not want to make them acculturate and lose their culture they already have. Instead what I want to do is make set times where they are free to speak in whatever language they want but I also want there to be some times where it is strictly English so I can be sure they are understanding the topic. I think this will change my teaching because it will be an asset to my classroom. I will not only be learning something new but so will the students in my classroom.
9. Eye Contact
Eye contact is the act if looking directly into ones eyes. This is a big issue I have always had when people speak to me. I tend to stop talking to the person if they chose not to look at me in the eye. In my eyes not showing eye contact is very rude. I think it means you are not listening and you do not care. This has changed my way of teaching though because I have become aware of how eye contact in some countries and cultures is a sign of disrespect to look your elders in the eyes. I will have to take this to my classroom because I do not wish to disrespect someone's culture but I would like to address it so the student knows not to be threatened or feel they can not look at me. I would like them to know it is ok here at school. I feel that I will struggle with it but it will definitely change how I teach because I cannot expect certain things to happen especially if their cultures are very different than my own.
10. SES Socioeconomic Status
SES Socioeconomic status is economics and sociology combined. This measures a person's work experience and of an individual's or family's economic and social position in relation to others, based on income, education, and occupation. This is highly important in a classroom setting. When walking in on your first day of school you never know what SES situation you will be in with your students. This changed my way of thinking about teaching because I have to be prepared no matter what level of SES is presented in my classroom. I will have to make sure I accommodate all levels of SES and do it fairly. I will need to do this because I will also have to be able to speak to the parents when or if I need to address something with them. I will need to speak to them in a level where they understand and know where I'm coming from so there is no conflict between the parents and I.
11. Upper class/ Upper middle class/lower middle class/ working class/ underclass
Upper class/ Upper middle class/ lower middle class/ working class/ and underclass are all examples of different SES. These play a major roll on how are students perform in the classroom. Also it changes the way I can expect things from students and parents. I mean this by saying I will have to implicate an anonymous donating system for school supplies so kids that are in underclass can still get school supplies. Also I will need to keep in mind the struggles some of my students may be going through. I will need to understand if a student lives in poverty and how I can accommodate getting them the proper food they need for their brains to actively work. Or if I need to find a way for a student to shower or get clean clothes. This is all things I have to think about changing to become a well loved effective teacher.
12. Poverty and language- formal/casual registry
Poverty levels and language levels go hand and hand. Students who live in poverty tend to have a lower vocabulary skill and value other things besides learning. This changes my way of teaching because I will have to work extra hard to catch up kids in poverty so they are at the same level of understanding language and vocabulary as the other students do. Kids in poverty do not speak formally they speak in casual or intimate ways. Typically they only have a vocabulary of less than 400 words. This means as a teacher I will have to address pathway tracking groups that help me work more with students who are behind so I can help them get a better education. I will need to spend a lot of time going over vocabulary words and the definitions of each site word we cover. Also I will have to establish a reading long so they can increase the number of words they are learning and reading. My goal as a teacher is to help the student become more formal with their speaking skills.
Most valuable term: bias
The most valuable word I have been exposed to is the word bias. I think this word is so important in a schooling system. As I have learned we are all born with biases. We learn these growing up from our surroundings, communities, and our families. We learn at an early age things we like and things we don't like. This being said we form biases about things we like or dislike. When being exposed to this term I found that I am very bias through taking tests online and expressing my biases out loud. I cant stress enough how shocked I was because I don't mean to be the way I come across on paper. In my mind I see myself as a people person who loves everyone no matter what shape size or culture. I found some deeply hidden biases. In a classroom it is a valued thing to personally know your own biases as a teacher and educator. It is valuable so you know what students you will be more compelled to teach and which students you will feel more likely not to teach. But, when you know these biases you can treat each child fairly in your classroom. Which is super valuable in a multicultural classroom.
My own identity
As a future teacher I need to know about myself. I am a proud middle-class, white girl who is Presbyterian. I speak English and do not know any other language. I am American and follow the American way of living. I come from a very small rural, predominately white, and Christian community. I come from a farming town. As a child I was in Gifted class and did very well in school. I am currently a student- athlete and work hard at becoming a teacher. This all influences who I will be as a teacher. Even though I plan at teaching like a community like this I still need to educate my students on things outside of their culture so they are prepared when they go out into college or the real world. I now know that I was neglected that information as a student learning in my previous schooling system. I want to make a difference in students like by giving them the opportunity I didn't get to have throughout my time in school. I have some definite bias traps because of how I was raised. I have analyzed some of my deepest biases that were very hard for me to admit. One of my biases are against Muslim people. I grew up thinking they are all evil terrorists. I must negotiate this because I could potentially have Muslims in my classroom and if I don't and a student asks me about Muslims I must handle the situation in a mature neutral fashion. Another bias I have is against black people. I grew up being taught they were obnoxious, loud, mean people. I must negotiate this bias trap because more than likely I will have a African American in my classroom and I cant treat him or her differently because of their race. I must treat them with the respect I would give white kids. I also need to know that African American parent's aren't out to get me or make me feel less of myself. Lastly, My last bias is against skinny people. I have this bias because I was bullied by skinny people nearly my whole life because I was chubbier than them. This lead me to becoming anorexic and struggling loving myself. Although I have this bias, I know how to negotiate it. I need to be an advocate for kids that are being bullied but handle it in a mature way. I know a lot of the time students bully is because they are hiding something they don't like about themselves. I will help both parties that way no ones feeling get hurt and that way I don't treat anyone differently.