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How do you effectively work with culturally diverse students?
Old 08-01-2018, 07:35 AM
 
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I get this question frequently when interviewing for a position at title I Schools. What’s the best answer to this?


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Old 08-01-2018, 08:39 AM
 
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I am interested in seeing responses to this question as well.
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Old 08-01-2018, 10:06 AM
 
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I work in a culturally diverse setting, I am severe special ed so it looks different in my classroom than gen ed. I make sure to respect their cultural differences. For example not assuming all students celebrate the same holidays. I tend to approach holidays as inclusive and do a unit about holidays around the world from different cultures and religions. I work in prek-k. Some teachers just avoid the topic. I've found the parents and students actually really enjoy sharing their cultures with the class. Another thing I do is make sure that visuals, books and videos, toys etc reflect many different skin colors and cultures. You also have to be careful with choosing materials that they don't perpetuate stereotypes. For example, I downloaded a set of emotions lesson visuals and for some reason angry was always depicted by a little black girl. All of the other emotions were depicted by children of all colors but for some reason "angry" was always a little black girl. I definitely did not use those visuals but many teachers may very innocently have not noticed. This is all for cultural diversity if they are asking about diverse learners it would be a different answer.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:30 PM
 
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For cultural diversity, the first thing I do is make a concerted effort to find out more about their cultures. I also do several of the things SpecialEdq described-- make sure my room/decorations/teaching materials are all reflective of a variety of cultures. I have also done holidays in an inclusive way without focusing on any one tradition (i.e., Christmas ).

I think for that question, an honest effort to seek out knowledge and cultural "experts" to help with ideas and supports is key.
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:47 PM
 
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I know that every student is unique and every family has a unique background, even without cultural differences. I look like Al Borland, with a beard and a plaid shirt, but I grew up in the inner city Memphis neighborhood made famous in "The Blind Side", and then moved to central valley northern California, where I was still a minority. I have a story for nearly every culture, and know that allowing students to be proud of their background, helps me teach them.

I had a black kid in a iffy school here tell me he was too dumb to read well,(actually this 5th grader told me that ***insert bad word here*** are too dumb to be good at school) and I stopped the lesson, and recalled that the guys I grew up with in Memphis, had it much worse, yet they have a high percentage of masters degrees and many of them now work in good jobs at Autozone headquarters. I told him he had it in him to be much more amazing than he thought. when I went back 6 months later (sub) he was on par with the class.

George Washington Carver is from around here, and most kids have no idea who he was....

positive peer pressure and cultural pride can be amazing tools that can help students succeed.


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I work in a culturally diverse school too
Old 09-05-2018, 04:42 PM
 
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I find out about their culture, and if there are things that are cultural that I have come to expect. For example, these students do not do well raising their hands to answer so we do much small group work so they can all talk and share their thoughts. Another thing that has really stood out is how happy they are to see themselves represented on the smart board, in literature, in pictures, in stories. So I try to make this happen all the time. When they see those who look like them, or are doing what they do, they become more a part of the group. It's amazing. At my school I am in the minority as a Caucasian and it is really eye opening. Cultural diversity is about understanding one another, so listening as well as talking is so important. Also, meeting parents and families is key to finding out what you can do. We do conferences 5 times a year and whole families come. They are learning how school is done in the US, they don't understand what they need to do to participate.
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