Creating An Inclusive Classroom: Embracing Diversity

Embracing diversity and creating an inclusive classroom is very important when starting up my first classroom. The impact of creating an inclusive classroom is that it lets other students learn to appreciate diversity, helps students become open-minded, and lets them feel accepted in the classroom as their authentic self.  In my classroom, I would want it to feel like home for all of my students and families. I believe that for a child to learn, they first must feel welcomed and loved. Diversity can be a student’s culture, religion, gender, race/ethnicity, ability/disability, and/or economic status. A teacher should integrate every student’s identity into the classroom by fitting it into the curriculum. One way to share diversity is through storytelling. This is a wonderful way to capture a child’s curiosity about others (Moore, 2003, p. 42). A teacher could bring in photos of what people grow in their gardens in different parts of the world. More ways of embracing diversity in the classroom is through music, food, and special guests (Moore, 2003, p. 43).  An easy way to implement this into the classroom is by playing music from different locations during nap/snack time or even have the students dance to the beat. Another creative way to introduce cultures to students is by bringing in food from all over the world and trying them together so that the students can explore what other cultures eat.  Also, a teacher could invite special guests into the classroom and let them share stories from a first-person perspective about their personal experiences with diversity.

In my future classroom, I would love to integrate a new piece of diversity each month. For example, one month we would explore Chinese culture. During that month, we would read stories about their way of life, listen to Chinese music during free time, try Chinese food, and even have a guest speaker from China to talk about Chinese culture with the students. Every time we cover a new country, I would hang a flag in the classroom to show our new diverse mindset.

One way to integrate diversity into the classroom without physically having a guest speaker is by using Skype. A teacher could use Skype to have a guest speaker present to the class about diversity from the other side of the world!


Additional Resources:

The Inclusive Classroom as the Best Placement

Building Inclusive Classrooms


Works Cited:

Moore, T. (2003). Giving Children Global Views. Scholastic Early Childhood Today. 41-44.


Ohio Standard 1.4: Teachers model respect for students’ diverse cultures, language skills and experiences.

Ohio Standard 5.1: Teachers treat all students fairly and establish an environment that is respectful, supportive and caring.

Ohio Standard 5.2: Teachers create an environment that is physically and emotionally safe.

Justification: By creating an inclusive classroom through stories, guest speakers, music, and food, it creates a classroom climate that is emotionally safe for all students to embrace who they are. When a teacher introduces and embraces diversity in the classroom, it creates a environment that lets students support, care, and respect each other’s differences also. Then, diverse students feel welcomed and accepted by their peers which creates a better learning environment for all students.


 

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