As we are speaking about an issue related to diversity in this edition, I thought it was a good time to give some helpful tips in creating a more diverse culture in the classroom.
- Acknowledge Learning Differences Positively
- The best way to acknowledge these differences is by actually talking to your students about learning differences. Help them to understand that everyone learns differently. Maybe do some exercises to help the students discover how they best learn.
- Emphasize Similarities
- Allow adequate time for your students to get to know each other to discover common interests. Discovering shared interests and commonalities can be accomplished through a number of ways, including strategic seating, pair or group work, and game playing.
- Embrace Diversity
- Set the example. Help your students develop a deep appreciation of diversity by pointing out how all class members contribute to the classroom environment. Encourage students to share their special gifts and talents with the class. Emphasize how fortunate they are to be able to share, grow and learn from each other.
- Teach Tolerance and Promote Acceptance
- Again set the example. Model the ideals you expect your students to exhibit. Teach acceptance, tolerance, patience, kindness, compassion and empathy explicitly so students will develop these habits of heart implicitly. Either individually or in group discuss what acceptance means and how to become more accepting individuals.