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. As a teacher I will keep expanding my knowledge and challenging my students. I believe in every student's potential. I will always be their number one advocate. As a multicultural teacher I will make a difference.
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.
I do not understand how Ebonics can be considered a language but someone who talks like a "hick" is not its own language.
Another question I have is if a student asks about my beliefs about something do I stay neutral or do I answer honestly?
What are some real-life scenarios that could happen to me that would test my biases?
How do I correctly put my biases aside so I properly teach without including biases?
PART II... Chapters 2,4,5,8
I am Caitlin McNabb. I have conquered some of my biggest biases. I have identified those in order to become the best teacher I can be to my future students. I will treat all students equally no matter what their social economic status is, race, gender, religion, culture, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. I have become more knowledgeable on multicultural education. I will be an extraordinary multicultural educator because I will be an advocate for all my students. I will positively impact their lives and make them educated on more than just their cultural norms. I have worked very hard in taking the time to analyze all concepts that have been taught to me this semester. I will continue to work hard and keep excelling at becoming a multicultural educator.
What are my thoughts about becoming a teacher?
Since midterm I have had a lot of thoughts that have come to me. I can truly say that I have only grown an even larger passion to become a teacher/multicultural educator. I have had many major events take place that have helped me find who I truly am not only as a person, but a teacher as well. I have had many struggles but they have only made me stronger. I want to become a teacher because I know the struggles of feeling out of place, scared, and alone. I will be better able to teach to students I understand. I also want to become a teacher because I want to keep learning about other cultures other than my own and other students backgrounds. I want to be a student's advocate and their biggest supporter throughout their time at our school district. Personally, I don't think my thoughts have changed too much about teaching. I think if anything my feelings about becoming a teacher have only became more justified and stronger. I have recently gained insightful information about gender orientation, religion, gender, race, and ethnicity. This information makes me a more culturally relevant teacher and helps me communicate and understand an even larger portion of my many students I will have in my classroom. I want to become a teacher to become a child's role model. I believe when I become a teacher I will bring my school district a very important piece, multiculturalism education to my students. For these reason, I will let nothing stop me from becoming a multicultural educator. I am Caitlin McNabb. I will be a teacher who teaches to all my students no matter what identity they bring to my classroom.
Concepts that have contributed to the changes in my thinking of teaching are...
Racism is prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism against someone of another race on the belief that one's own race is more superior than others. Racism has really shaped and changed my thinking about teaching because it is such a major topic that many of my students will face in their everyday lives. I plan on teaching around the community I grew up in. This being said I'm not sure how many minority groups I will have but, I will have a few in my classroom. As a teacher I have found throughout this class the more knowledge I have about touchy issues the better off I can teach my students and hold a relevant classroom for all students whom enter my classroom. I think that being aware of racism in a negative matter is important so I can identify it if it happens among students in my classroom. I should be able to identify racism and properly address it to the students that are being racist and to help the student who it is towards. I know we live in a world that is constantly changing with the different slang words that go along with racism so I need to keep educating myself as a teacher so I don't let anything slide or be unaware of the situations taking place. In my classroom I plan to have a no tolerance regarding slang, racist jokes, and shaming due to discrimination. I will promptly take care and address the issue and have consequences to students who abuse the rules. Also I want to make it clear to my students I think that no matter what color they are I really appreciate where they come from and they matter! I want people of all colors to know that I am their biggest supporter and that they will not receive judgment from myself and I will always be a safe person to come too. I know we as a society preach equality. Unfortunately, I know it doesn't happen. This is why I need to be prepared for racism within the walls of my classroom as a teacher.
A privilege is a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a certain person or group of people. As a person I never thought of privilege. I knew some people were more financially stable or could get things I couldn't always have but I never realized how in depth privilege really is. Privilege itself has really changed my way in thinking about teaching. I have come to find that privilege goes way beyond getting to possess top dollar items. Privilege can look like being a majority race group, being in middle class/ upper class, being the dominant culture, speaking English, getting higher education, having a home, having a family that loves and takes care of you, and so much more. All of these things I listed are examples of privilege that are more than just "things". I will have to deal with privilege and those who are not as privileged. I will have to be very prepared to handle both types of children. As a teacher I will have to keep in mind some children will come to class that haven't eaten since the day before when the school fed them, they might have dirty clothes, come from a run down home, and aren't prepared for school. This being said I will need to be able to help them earn supplies and help find some clothes so they can have fresh ones. I also will need to go to local businesses and ask for donations of pens, pencils, food, and other items they might be able to donate. I also will have to make sure kids that come from privilege do not discriminate or make the kids of less privilege feel marginalized and unwelcomed. Contrary to this I need to also be fair to the kids of privilege and help them realize what they have they shouldn't take for granted and that we need to treat everyone in the classroom equally because in this classroom we will all be privileged because we are all learning and in a safe place. I can also benefit by asking kids of privilege to have their parents help in an donation to help benefit our classroom. Needless to say privilege will play a major roll in my classroom and my duty as a teacher.
Segregation is the action or state of setting someone or something apart from other people or things such as being set apart. Segregation was supposedly taken care of when the Brown vs. Board of Education took place... we still see very segregated things within our school communities. Segregation doesn't always mean race. Segregation can pertain to race, level of education, social economic classes, religion, and many other groups. This has changed my thinking about teaching because I will have to be very alert in myself as well as my students segregating students and faculty. I myself as the teacher will need to make sure I don't group students according to their race when I put the students in groups and I will also have to make sure I don't favor boys over girls, blacks over whites, and upper class over lower class. I feel as if I am a very accepting and fair person and I wouldn't participate in segregation but, I could group students together and they can sense segregation if they do not feel it is fair. In order to avoid these type of situations I will use random selection such as popsicle sticks to call on students or to place them in groups. I also will have to be prepared to address segregation if it starts to take place among the students. I will need to be able to make sure students aren't bullying and segregating each other based upon physical attributes and other aspects. As a teacher I will have posters in my classroom that state the rules about treating everyone equally and also will have consequences for those who chose not to follow the rules.
4. First Amendment
The first amendment states: An amendment to the United States Constitution guaranteeing the rights of free expression and action that are fundamental to democratic government. These rights include freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. This is a major concept that has changed my way of teaching. Honestly, I am very scared of this amendment. As a teacher I have to be very careful of what I say even though the First Amendment clearly states I have the freedom to religion, press, and speech. As a teacher I can easily get fired for saying the wrong term that not culturally right. I feel I will be ok following the rules teachers are supposed to abide by but, it will be difficult for me my first years of teaching. I also know it will be very hard for me if I have a student who pushes their limits on expressing their rights of the First Amendment. I will have to be patient and level headed when it comes to making sure I don't over step when getting on to a student because I don't agree with what they are saying because it is their right to express their own speech, religion, and press. I know when it comes to educating my students I want to be very clear when addressing their rights and I want them to know I respect their opinions and views as citizens of the United States. As a teacher it is important for me to address the students rights but, I also need to express that they are not meant to be used against people and that freedom of speech does not give them the right to bully or use hurtful language within the school walls.
5. Prayer in School
Prayer in school is a common usage refers to state-sanctioned and/or mandatory prayer by students in public schools. Depending on the country and the type of school, state-sponsored prayer may be required, permitted, or prohibited. This is a very controversial subject among many people and schools. Prayer in school has changed my thinking about teaching because this will be a very hard task for me to understand and accept. I plan on teaching at a public school and I feel even though I will be at a small rural school I know that not every one there will be Christian or some faith that agrees with my religious views. I am a strong Christian woman. I have practiced faith all my life. I know that students are aloud to lead prayer which will be very accepted in my classroom I would never have a problem with it. I think as a teacher I will struggle accepting that some kids could get mad and upset about others wanting to pray. I think the best way to accomplish such a widely opinionated topic is to just abide by the first amendment and always follow school policies. As a teacher I will need to read the student handbook thoroughly and also make sure I clarify with the principal to make sure I understand the policies on school prayer. Also I will need to make it very clear to the students they do not have to participate in prayer if a fellow classmate leads one but they do need to be respectful while they are participating in prayer.
6. Implications of teaching about religion
Teaching about religion in class will be a very difficult task that I will have to cross as a teacher. I never thought about before how challenging it would actually come. Mainly because I was very small minded when it came to thinking about other religions other than my own. I knew they existed but, really never accepted them. As a teacher this topic has changed a lot of my thinking. I have found that the best thing I can do before teaching about religion is making sure I have an understanding and am educated about the religion I plan on teaching for that lesson. Knowledge is key when it comes to exposing myself to the class and carrying out a lesson. The next step I need to accomplish is making sure I am well aware of the different students and have a grasp on the religion they might follow. Then, I will need to make sure I do a little more research to make sure my information isn't biased, skewed, or incorrect. This is important because it will help my students understand the raw correct information on the religion I am teaching about. Another thing I need to be prepared for comments made by my students if they have a biased or stereotyped opinion about a certain religion. I will need to be prepared to correct them and let them know that is not what the religion is about in fact the things a student hears is more than likely a terrorist group not a religion. As a teacher I will be responsible for helping teach the student about religion. Lastly, I will need to make sure my teachings are all based on fact and I should be prepared for students to go home and tell their parents what they learned. Teaching religion could result in upset parents and I need to be prepared to handle that situation when the situation comes forward.
Feminism is the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. This has changed my thinking of teaching because it is an active issue today women face. I will be challenged by many female students about equality issues and my views/opinions on such topics that are advertised and expressed on the news. I will also have to deal with boys picking on the girls in the class and having to address it fairly. As a teacher I will also have to teach about feminism as it is an important part of history. I will be faced many challenges with this topic. I assume, some boys in the classroom will use very downgrading comments to women like, " you are a girl and couldn't do that anyways, shouldn't you be in the kitchen making me a sandwich, boys are way smarter than girls." I will need to make sure I am readily available to address that those stereotypes aren't true and women can do anything a male can do. Now, I cannot be biased towards girls and saying they are better or anything like that but, I can express their rights and be an advocate for feminism movements in the classroom. I will also teach about these movements in my classroom and plan on my students doing a little research to see the gaps between male advancement compared to woman advancement. I think this will be a real eye opener for a lot of my students. Lastly, I want to make sure that the rude comments that are down grading and very bias and stereotyped don't take place in my classroom. I will have a poster stating that we will not allow comments to be made in the classroom that are negative about female attributes or feminism in general. I don't want boys to feel I am being biased towards girls I will also hold the girls accountable too for comments that are downgrading towards men.
Sexism is prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. This I was aware of as a problem for women and as well as men. Sexism has changed my way of thinking about teaching because it will be a largely addressed topic I will have to tackle within my classroom. With all different identities in my classroom it is destine for one group of students to think their identity is superior or dominant and will more than likely stereotype others, become prejudice, or discriminate. This will lead me to having to be powerful in my teaching about equality and stress they importance in avoiding sexism. I will need to make sure their are not sexist jokes within my classroom. This goes towards males and females. Sexism is typically against females but also can regard to men also. I will need to be clear in my rules to my students we will avoid using language that is sexist, stereotypical, biased, prejudice, or discriminating to the students within our classroom. I will make sure I send a flyer home with my students stating these rules so the parents can help me keep a culturally relevant and fair classroom to ensure the best learning environment for all my students, male or female. I will have both the student and guardian sign the flyer and file it so if the rule is broken I can use that as my warning that it is a very serious rule I will not allow in my classroom so their is no question about the severity of this issue.
9. Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is: harassment (typically of a female) in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks. Sexual harassment has changed my way of thinking about teaching because it can be a very unruly, unfair, sickening topic that can really shame a person. As a teacher I am bound by law to report any sexual harassment that takes place within my classroom. I am responsible for making sure my students are not harassing other students based upon their sexual identity. I will be faced with having to address sexual harassment mainly from a girls perspective but occasionally a boys side. I will need to be strict about the sexual harassment policies not only in my classroom but in the school district. Sexual harassment can happen on the play ground, the lunch room, the halls, and even the classroom in a school setting. I will need to be alert at all times and make sure I am aware of what the students are saying towards one another. It is my job to address it and handle it promptly because it is a law I must follow. Sexual harassment can be a very harsh thing to handle. More than likely parents will be involved and my judgment and the way I handle the situation can make me very involved in the case. I will need to make sure sexual harassment isn't present in my classroom so students feel welcomed and not unwanted there by their peers.
The word transgender means: denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity does not correspond with the gender assigned to them at birth. This concept has changed my thoughts on teaching a lot! Having a transgendered student in your class can lead to many issues you might not be prepared to handle. Some of these issues are: allowing them to use the locker room/bathroom to which they currently identify, allowing them to play the gendered sport to which they identify as now, bullying, using the correct pronouns around them, and dealing with parents who do not want to accept their kid as a transgendered person. All of these topics are very touchy and hard to handle. I do not know how readily able I am to handle all of the issues having a transgendered child in my classroom can bring. I personally think I still need help on this topic. However, I think as an educator I am very prepared to handle the bullying aspect. I think I can be prepared to handle bullying because I will stress equality in my classroom and will have a no tolerance for any type of bullying within my classroom. I think that if a transgendered kid came into my classroom I would be able to act quick on things like allowing them to use the bathroom to which they identify as but I think I am not ready to know how to handle the angry students and parents that come along with allowing that student that right.
Homophobia is a dislike of or prejudice against homosexual people. Homophobia has changed my thinking of teaching because I now realize that I will have students who are homophobes in my classroom. This can cause a lot of issues in my classroom. I will have to be understanding of their feelings because one it is a phobia and two it is their own opinion. Contrary to that, I have to be able to let them know that they cannot be afraid because they are not scary or any different than another human. I will have to make sure the kids who are homophobes treat the gays and lesbians in our classroom correctly and do not discriminate against them. I will have to let them know they are entitled to their opinion but we will not tolerate bullying, discrimination, or prejudice against students who are different than themselves. I will also need to make sure the kids who are gay and lesbian do not make it their goal to make the kid who is a homophobe uncomfortable. I need the classroom to stay neutral in the fact that we all can get along and be accepting while in my classroom. I will make sure I find a way to make sure everyone is comfortable and I maintain a comfortable learning environment.
12. Sexual Orientation
Sexual Orientation is a person's sexual identity in relation to the gender to which they are attracted; the fact of being heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Sexual orientation is another issue I will have present in my classroom. This has changed my thinking of teaching because I will have kids who express their sexual orientation that differs from the typical heterosexual relationships. I will need to be prepared to handle sexual orientation for many different reasons. One thing I will need to be prepared for is making sure that the rules for PDA are still being followed no matter what their sexual orientation is. I also will need to be on high alert for bullying if a student is bisexual or homosexual. I will need to be able to properly address these types of relationships and make sure they do not sense any discrimination or biases towards their relationship choice they have made. If bullying arises I will need to confront both parties and let them talk it out while monitoring the conversation and using a educational handling on the situation. I will present that they are both the same in the fact they are human and they both are aloud to orientate their sexual preferences to which they chose and it is not our duty to judge because it is not our place to judge. As a teacher I will also need to make sure I provide literature and other forms of education to those that are not heterosexual so they know they are welcomed and just as much a majority as the rest of the students. I want people whos sexual orientation differ than the majority can see their selves in the education and know they are not discriminated.
Most valuable terms
One of the most important terms I have learned about is privilege. I think this term is important because it can present itself in many ways. A person can be privileged because they have parents that love them, they are the majority race, and because they are able to eat food whenever they please. There are so many reason how a student can be privileged. I learned about white privilege and how it is a very real issue in today's society. I also learned about how we are all have different levels of privilege and how some are very unprivileged. Students can come into your classroom at all different levels of privilege. As an educator it is my duty to make sure I help the student if they come from low privilege and if the student comes from high privilege I make sure they don't judge others below them and instead help them so they are enriched with friends, education, and support. By doing this we are helping those of less privilege become a little more privileged in our classroom. I also realized I can do many things as a teacher to assist with privilege. I can teach about it, I can get donations from the community to help those who are not as privileged as others, and I can have those of privilege help donate to help our classroom. Privilege is important because it will play a major roll in my classroom.
Another term I found important is Title IX. On June 23, 1972, the President signed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Law TITLE ix is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. This term is important and valuable because it is the basis of how the school is ran when it comes to gender and the education aspect of the school. As a teacher I will need to abide and follow this law because it is very important. So important that if I don't follow it or I break the Title IX law I could be sued as a teacher. I think this is valuable information because it helps me realize what it appropriate and what isn't when it comes to my language, communication with students, and the discrimination of sex within education. I will need to make sure I include boys as much as girls and I will need to make sure all things between the two sexes are fair. I will do this to make sure my job is not in question and to avoid legal issues.
My own identity will definitely influence my approach to teaching. I am a white, Christian, middle-class citizen of the United States. I speak fluent English, I have diagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder, I was in the gifted class, and come from a very small rural community. Throughout this course I have revealed some of my biggest biases. I have biases towards African Americans, Muslims, and skinny people. I have also learned I have a biased towards transgendered people. I hold this bias because I am not quiet sure how I feel about the whole issue about transgendered people. I am not sure about how to handle the situation of what bathrooms and sports they should be aloud to play. I am a very fair person and will not let this bias get in my way of teaching but it is definitely something I need to educate myself on and keep my opinions on the back burner while teaching. Another strong bias I have is against Muslims. I grew up always being taught that Muslims are all terrorist. This caused me to grow very strong in my bias because I have heard it all my life. I know this isn't the case and I need to do a better job at understanding Muslim is a religion not a terrorist group. I will need to avoid my biases while teaching class to my students. This will influence my teaching because I will need to keep furthering my education on transgendered students and always to mask my bias. I also will be able to identify more with my students as the majority of them will be similar to my identity as many people in a small community are similar in their ways and identity. I will teach culturally to make sure I am exposing my students to all different aspects of culture so they are aware of a world bigger than the one they currently live in. Some of my greatest obstacles I will face in maintaining a culturally relevant classroom are making sure I avoid stereotypes and discrimination by myself and my students. I think this will be a great challenge because I will always have to deal with students who bully one another and discriminate other students because of their biases and stereotypes. I will need to be able to manage this and make sure I put a stop to it in my classroom. By doing this I will achieve a culturally relevant classroom because every one is being treated equally and getting a fair education. Another challenge I will have is making sure I can adequately integrate all my students properly so no one feels marginalized. I will need to make sure I call on every student and not pick one group of students over another group. I will also need to make sure I group students in groups that are diverse and show differences so students can make new friends and learn about others cultures and back grounds. I think if I am able to successfully do this I will be better able to hold a culturally relevant classroom. These obstacles will challenge me because I will constantly have to be on my toes and able to take action when and if bullying arises and when I am grouping students to work on a project. If these obstacles take place it can make it very hard to reach and teach all students in my classroom. If these situations take place a student can become marginalized. If a student becomes marginalized they will become less likely to participate in school activities and I will likely see a drastic drop in their grades. A student will chose to ignore school because it is no longer relevant to them. In order to minimize this challenge I need to hang posters in my classroom that says the different rules in my classroom. The poster will state that their will be a zero tolerance for bullying and that consequences will follow if bullying takes place. I will also enforce this rule by sending home a flyer stating to the parents/guardian that there will be a zero tolerance to bullying and discrimination and consequences will be taken. I will have the parent/guardian sign and date the paper and I will also have the student sign and date the same paper and have them turn it in to me so I can keep it on file so if the student ever bullies they will be reminded when and if it happens they have signed a contract stating no bullying and I will also hold their parent/guardian responsible for their actions so they can also help me hold the student up on their end of the contract. I think by doing this I will really be able to achieve a culturally relevant classroom. Lastly, I will use a random drawing of popsicle sticks to draw students names and it will help ensure that I am not favoring any student over another. I will also make sure I write down group names so I know to change the group so they are constantly working with others. I think by doing this it will help minimize the challenges I will be faced with in my classroom.
Questions I still have...
Should transgendered students be aloud to use the bathroom/locker room to which they identify as?
Should transgendered students be aloud to play the gendered sport to which they now identify as?
As a teacher what are some things I should avoid saying that could get me in trouble for not being culturally relevant?
I am a Multicultural educator. I will be a leader, advocate, and educator. I believe in changing the lives of each and every student that walk into my classroom. I will instill a new profound love for culture and diversity in each of my students. I will educate my students to be well rounded individuals who will be assets to the world they live in. I believe that the issues in today's society will be issues I can and will address to my students to make sure they can understand and can navigate through these issues in a culturally revenant way. I know that I am a very understanding, accepting, and kind hearted individual. I now know about religions, gender identity, race, culture, discrimination, ethnicities, and language. I currently have changed my beliefs as a teacher. I believe now that their are languages such as ebonics that are real languages and should be valued in a classroom because it is apart of the student's identity. I also now believe that I will have a very diverse classroom even though I plan on teaching at a small rural school. I believe I will make a difference and shape the knowledge of the students in my class room. My knowledge will help guide my students into becoming smart children who can thoroughly think through all cultural aspects and handle them with respect. I want to be able to challenge my students assumptions and biases so they can expand their thinking and gain new information based upon my multicultural teachings. I believe I will always keep gaining knowledge from reliable sources and I will learn from my students. Learning from my students will make me an even stronger multicultural teacher. Knowledge is key and that is exactly what I plan on obtaining as a culturally relevant teacher. I have found my passion and I will strive my hardest to become the best teacher possible. I believe in creating a change for all my students to come. I will make a change in teaching by using multicultural education as the base of my learning techniques to make everything relevant to all my students. I am Caitlin McNabb. I am a multicultural educator.