Throughout my future career as an educator I expect to encounter diversity on a daily basis. Our schools are growing more and more diverse and as a result it’s important to understand how to make an impact on all types of students. It is very important to have a plan for how to connect with students from different cultures because they may have completely different experiences, customs and personal history. For example, if you have a student from a different country, they could have grown up learning completely different cultural norms and values than your typical American student. One thing the book points out that you can do to connect with these students is to show interest in their background, whatever it may be. A way you could do this is by assigning content that relates to their culture. This could be done by having them write about their culture or what it’s like to be an immigrant in America. As a physical education teacher, one thing I could do is have a student teach the class their favorite game they used to play in their former country. I could also ask them to share thought about their favorite sport, and ask if their cultural background had any influence on why they like that sport so much. Finding a way to connect your curriculum to a student’s culture is a great motivator for students to do the work because it’s something they are passionate about. As a teacher, leading by example by being open to new cultures and ideas is extremely important because you will influence other students to do the same.
Another important thing to do as a teacher is to avoid making assumptions. In the podcast Batman that we listened to for pluralistic, it demonstrates just how big of an impact expectations can have. The podcast explains how expectations have a tremendous impact on that person’s ability. For example, if we expect someone to be smart because they are Asian, they are likely to believe they actually are smarter and live up to that expectation.
Expectations also can have negative effects as well. For instance, if you assume a student is stupid because they are Hispanic that student is more likely to believe they really do lack intelligence, which would result in them living up to the negative expectation. Therefore, as an educator one of my main objectives is to be open to all cultures. One way to accomplish this might be that on the first day of school, I could have each student tell me something they are good at that makes them smart. By doing that, I will know that each one of my students are smart in some way and I will be sure to treat them as such. In conclusion, as a teacher I will be sure to keep an open mind to all cultures and do my best to focus on the unique benefits each has to offer.