Diversity Of Students

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How do I deal with the different kinds of students I'll teach?

Diversity Of Students

America is called the melting pot for a reason. People arrive here everyday looking for a better life, better work, and better education. Along with their individual dreams, they have their own ideas, religions, though processes, and biases.

As an early childhood educator, this can work to your advantage or disadvantage. No matter what the ethnicity of the child, ideally the best approach is to treat all the children the same. Problem is, all children are different and how you approach and teach them can be as well.

One of the best ways to address this issue is to start with yourself. Go back and analyze if you have any particular biases and why.

  • Do you talk to girls and boys differently?
  • Do you expect more from a white child than a black child or Hispanic child?
  • Do you expect less from a child of color?
  • Do you have a bias against alternative couples or traditional couples who are not married but have children? Will that translate to how you treat their child?
  • Do you assume all children from the Middle East are Muslim?
  • Do you assume all Asian children are Buddhist?
  • Are you anti-religion that isn't Christian and can you teach students who are not?
Always keep an open dialogue with the children, encouraging them to ask you questions directly or through a note (signed or unsigned) and watch body language with the children. Does a little girl suddenly become withdrawn when you start asking other children about their parents? Does a little boy act out when asking about summer vacation?

If you aren't sure about your own biases or interactions with student diversity, take a class on the subject or ask the college about programs that address the issue. What you may think is an innocent remark may be offensive to someone else. Although you can't make everyone happy, you can open your eyes wider to other ideas, thought processes, and religious beliefs. You just may get more out of the discussion than you realize and it can point you on the path of becoming an amazing educator.

   

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