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Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Benefits of Diversity in the Classroom on the Teaching Environment

The Benefits of Diversity in the Classroom on the Teaching Environment

Many teachers do not take the atmosphere of a classroom into consideration when they conduct their classes, but the atmosphere is an essential part of learning in a classroom. The environment a class is taught in helps determines the success of the lessons and the students. All students are different, and it is important for all students to respect each other in order for the productivity of a classroom to optimized. As a teacher it is important that I am able to create an atmosphere of tolerance, acceptance, and caring in the classroom in order to provide for the diversified needs of my students.
I live in Pine Bush which is located in New York. Pine Bush is located about two hours upstate from New York City, and it is a rural town. The population in Pine Bush is of Caucasian, Hispanic, Latino, African American, Asian, Pacific Islanders, and people of mixed ethnicity. In Pine Bush there are many churches, and many people of different religious beliefs. Presbyterian and Baptists churches are located very close to the center of town in Pine Bush, and there is a Buddhist monastery located in town as well. There are people of high, low, and middle class economic status, but many people in Pine Bush are of the middle working class. Pine Bush may seem like a quiet country town, but it is also diverse in many ways.
In all classrooms all over the world it is extremely important to have an atmosphere that is tolerant, accepting, and caring in the classroom; this atmosphere is beneficial to the students, the teachers, and the entire world. Practicing tolerance and acceptance in school provides students with the ability to be comfortable with themselves; it also helps students let go of preconceived biases and teaches students to learn more about what is inside of a person instead of judging them by their outsides. The use of tolerance, acceptance, and caring in the classroom provides a nice atmosphere that can be productive to learning. These practices will promote teamwork, confidence, and respect, and these are all key factors in a successful classroom. Teachers will also benefit from the use of tolerance, acceptance, and caring because they will be able to fairly grade and support students. If teachers are accepting of student's differences they will be able to look at students for their potential instead of with a bias mind, and this will help them teach more successfully. These ideas will also allow the students and teachers to earn respect for each other which will make the classroom a pleasant and productive environment. The world will benefit as a whole because of these practices because the all people should be taught tolerance, acceptance, and caring, and if more people were taught these things people would treat each other better on a bigger level. Tolerance, acceptance, and caring are beliefs that the future generations should be ingrained with, and teaching students today is what will make this possible.
In order to create a tolerant, accepting and caring classroom atmosphere there are many things one can do as a teacher. As a teacher in Pine Bush, New York I would make sure to discuss diversity, and why it is a positive thing in the classroom. I would create lesson plans that discuss the cultures of my students and the cultures of my community. I would discuss the different religious beliefs of the community as well. I believe it is also necessary to speak to the students about disabilities and at risk students; I think that it is important to discuss these issues in order to help students realize that these differences do not make someone less than them. I would also speak about socioeconomic issues and how they affect students, and the differences in gender. I think teaching about gender issues is also very important because many gender stereotypes influence how both male and females learn, and I feel that it is important for both boys and girls to be given equal opportunities in the classroom. I would discuss these issues in order to help show the students that all people have needs, and I would emphasize that it is important for students to accept and help each other in order to benefit themselves and the world around them. I would make sure the students are aware that differences in people make the world interesting, and I would create lesson plans that would help show students how their own unique differences help the classroom function properly. These lessons will help the students identify and overcome their biases, and I will also learn about my own biases from them. During these lessons I would also make sure to tell the students what I have learned about my own biases to help them understand that they can learn about themselves and improve on themselves. I feel that it is also important for students to be aware of the inequalities that exist so that they can receive the education they deserve, and they can fulfill their educational goals.
In my classroom I would have a multicultural bulletin board, and this bulletin board will contain many fun facts for students to learn from. This bulletin board will change every month, and it will contain all of the holidays that can be celebrated each month. This bulletin board will also contain different images that are associated with these different holidays, and stories and poems that describe these holidays will also be featured on this bulletin board. I would also like to include the different awareness months because there are many that are important and many that are fun and interesting such as national mentoring month, national hot tea month, heart disease awareness month, national hamburger month, and watershed awareness month. I would keep a list on the side of my bulletin board of all the different awarenesses of the month, and students would be free to discuss and research these ideas. In the beginning of each month I would allow the students to add their own thoughts to the bulletin board. I would ask them to fill in any holidays that they practice or are aware of; this would give them the ability to represent themselves and their cultures. I would also make sure to include all of their birthdays to remind them that they are all special. Each day I would have a different student give a short speech about a holiday that fell on that day, and if there was no holiday they could pick one of the month's awareness topics. This exercise will help students learn about cultures and the world, and it will help students celebrate diversity everyday.
As a teacher it is important to make sure the classroom atmosphere is comfortable in order to ensure productivity. Teaching students that differences are a good thing and those differences can be learned from and valued is a way to help ensure a positive classroom environment. As a teacher I will help my students understand biases, and I will help them be able to accept differences and treat people fairly by educating them about the differences of the people around them. I believe there are many ways a teacher can incorporate diversity lessons into the classroom, and a bulletin board is a fun, hands-on way for students to be able to learn to respect and enjoy their differences. Overall I believe that teaching students to respect each other despite their differences will benefit the students, the teachers, and the rest of the world.

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