Latest Forum Posts

See Our Work

Translate this page in:
"You Can't Teach Someone You Don't Know" PDF E-mail
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 15:06

Below is a list of teaching secrets for teaching students who don't share your culture and some stats to help us acknowledge the current reality as it relates to cultural differences in schools.  These data and suggestoins are taken from an article written by Elina Aquilar in Teacher Magazine.

* Nine out of 10 teachers in the United States are white.

• Four out of every 10 students are not white.

• Some 40 percent of public schools have no teachers of color.

And here are my beliefs about what these statistics mean:

• The fact that 90 percent of teachers are white matters. Let’s accept this notion and acknowledge that race is an uncomfortable issue to deal with.

• In diverse classrooms, issues of race and culture masquerade behind differences in learning and communication styles, attitudes, interests, behavior, and much more.

• It is the teacher’s responsibility to bridge this cultural chasm. We cannot eliminate the differences but we can learn to communicate effectively with each other.

Suggestions:

You must get to know your students.

And here are some ways to do so:

1. Before you start teaching, learn a little about the history and the cultures of the students you will serve.

2. Find out how the city and neighborhood you will teach in has changed in the last couple of decades and what the pressing economic and political issues are. Local libraries and papers are great resources.

3. Get specific information about each of your students. Even if they are from the same ethnic group, differences in nationality, language, and religion matter. (A Mexican-American child born in the United States is different from a Guatemalan child who just left the highlands, although they may look similar.) Be careful not to make assumptions. Get all the fine-grained details.

4. If you serve immigrants from specific ethnic groups (Eritreans or Hmong, for example), connect with community centers or refugee assistance organizations. A 20-minute phone call early in the year could be very useful in the months ahead. (Ask: "I’m going to be teaching a number of Hmong children. What do you think are the most important things for me to know about working with their families?")

5. Talk to colleagues who have worked in the community for a while. Ask what mistakes they made in the beginning, what big lessons they’ve learned, and what they appreciate about the families they work with.

6. Immediately meet with parents, once the school year begins. Among other details, let them know you’re excited to learn about their individual cultures. Acknowledge your differences. (Craftily work it in that you recognize that you don't share their culture. Let them know that you’ll be educating yourself so that you can better meet the needs of their child.) Put it on the table. This can relieve a lot of anxiety.

7. In the beginning of the year, have a potluck. Remember: You’re developing connections with students and families, and between students and families. Nothing builds community like breaking bread together. And you’ll enjoy a great meal.

8. Walk around the neighborhoods where your students live, either by yourself or, if they are older, with students as guides. (They love doing this!) Go during different times of the day and on the weekends. This will give you a glimpse into your students' lives.

9. Schedule home visits. Let parents know that you want to learn more about their children, would like to meet the family pet, and would be very grateful if they’d let you visit their home. Be honest, be humble, express curiosity, and communicate that it’s all so that you can be more effective with their child.

10. Learn how to ask questions that are acceptable to the cultures you are serving. Obviously, you need to ask questions to get to know people. But understand that what is personal and private to one group, may be trivial to another. You may need to get some help from colleagues to know what kinds of questions are best received and most appropriate, given the population you work with.

11. Invite parents into the classroom to share their cultures. Many are honored to do so; they want to be known and understood. This helps kids build community.

12. Accept all invitations! In many cultures, teachers are invited to religious ceremonies, holidays, birthday parties, or family dinners. This is, by the way, one of the most fascinating, enjoyable, and delicious parts of this job!

13. A lot of this “research” can be done by your students. Even young children can create maps of their neighborhoods illustrating the parks they like to play in, their churches or community centers, or the homes of the people they care about. Older students can conduct research about their backgrounds or how their city has changed; they can interview parents, grandparents, and neighbors. They can bring in and share cultural artifacts. Giving kids an authentic purpose for this kind of work (which obviously involves lots of reading, writing, and talking) will motivate them and result in higher quality products.

You will never really know what it is to be a child in the neighborhood where your students reside or to have immigrated from the villages where their parents once lived, but you can understand a lot and this will make you more effective.

A note of caution, however: This is only one part of working with students with cultural differences. Teachers who work in communities that are different from their own also need to learn specific strategies of curriculum inclusion, culturally relevant pedagogy, and skills for promoting understanding, tolerance, and respect for diversity.

Other Books on the Topic:

We Can't Teach What We Don't Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools, by Gary Howard and Sonia Nieto
How To Teach Students Who Don’t Look Like You: Culturally Relevant Teaching Strategies, by Bonnie Davis
The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African American Children, by Gloria Ladson-Billings.

 

Comments  

 
# 2014-05-12 22:56
Very informative blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing. cgbggkadbaffdke d
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Cathleen 2014-09-28 01:17
Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you're working
with? I'm looking to start my own blog in the near future but I'm having a difficult time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something completely
unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!


Feel free to visit my website PassFinal: www.passfinal.com
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Gerardo 2015-03-12 06:14
I for all time emailed this webpage post page to
all my friends, for the reason that if like to read it then my links will too.


My weblog Neurofuse: nygards.bloggagratis.se/.../...
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Rubye 2015-03-18 04:15
Just depart it alone. They rely completely on their instinctive and
inborn creative and innovative senses that they have cultivated over some 4500 years.
As the first step of your home spa experience, cleanse your body with a shower to
prepare yourself.

Also visit my site: lost wax casting aluminum at home: www.investmentcastingedr.com/.../
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Monserrate 2015-03-20 18:15
Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily
basis. It will always be helpful to read content from other authors
and practice a little something from their sites.



Feel free to visit my web page :: facebook fortune reviews: ceisantboi.com/.../...
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Cathern 2015-03-21 07:35
I enjoy what you guys are up too. This type of
clever work and reporting! Keep up the very good works guys I've added you guys to blogroll.



Have a look at my homepage - Pure detox: kariera.ubralo.ge/.../
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Jerald 2015-03-22 15:58
Hola! I've been reading your weblog for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas!
Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

my homepage ... boşanma
avukatı ankara: bosanma-avukatlari.ra6.org/.../...
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Houston 2015-03-23 01:34
If some one needs to be updated with most up-to-date technologies after that he must be go to
see this web site and be up to date all the time.


My homepage ... Pro lean cleanse
reviews: flattr.com/.../coreyburfitt
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Annabelle 2015-03-23 23:45
I've been browsing online greater than 3 hours nowadays, but I by no means discovered any fascinating article
like yours. It's pretty price sufficient for me. Personally,
if all site owners and bloggers made just right content material as you
did, the web might be a lot more useful than ever before.


My weblog; Elite Test 360 Supplement: www.rxpgonline.com/.../
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Estela 2015-03-25 01:32
We stumbled over here from a different website and thought I might
check things out. I like what I see so i am just
following you. Look forward to looking over your web page for a second time.


Also visit my web blog ... Ketone SLim XT: tube.alaoul.com/.../
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# michelle 2015-03-25 11:54
thank you for sharing
www.bayanmarifet.com/
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Octavio 2015-03-25 14:47
You are so cool! I do not think I've read a single thing
like that before. So nice to find another person with some unique thoughts
on this subject. Really.. many thanks for starting this up.
This site is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!


My site ... stillwater fly fishing techniques (Loren: pattern-wiki.org/.../...)
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Melody 2015-03-25 20:57
Please let me know if you're looking for a article
author for your weblog. You have some really good posts and I believe
I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some
of the load off, I'd really like to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
Please send me an e-mail if interested. Thank you!

my blog post; Synapsyl: oldtimerauctions.eu/.../...
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Erlinda 2015-03-26 00:19
Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other websites?
I have a blog based upon on the same topics you
discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know
my audience would appreciate your work. If
you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.



Here is my page :: Biolift Eye cream: www.fiondavi.com/.../121
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Shona 2015-03-26 09:45
Genuinely when someone doesn't know afterward its up to other users
that they will help, so here it takes place.

Also visit my web-site biustonosze sklep: icalvin2.bloggplatsen.se/.../...
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Bianca 2015-03-26 19:16
You really make it seem so easy along with your presentation but I
in finding this topic to be actually something which I feel I might never understand.

It sort of feels too complicated and very wide for me. I'm taking a look forward in your next put up, I'll attempt to get the hold of it!



Here is my web site: porn cam: livexxxsexcams.com/
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Hassie 2015-03-26 23:26
In wearing this type of stocking, most men are under the impression that you
are hot and ready for a kinky sex. However, that doesn't mean we have to fall behind on what's
in style. Black leather jacket,Leather Bomber Jacket,Prom dresses: 33.qy119.com.,
Their more traditional colors are black, navy blue and beige.
Journalists, as well as assisted staff and camera crew, are required to adhere to strict dress codes set forth
by Buckingham Palace. A problem you could find whilst searching for childrens
fancy dress is not that you cannot find the costume that you would like but you are not able to come to a decision from the various costumes available out there.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Gilda 2015-03-28 10:17
next was previously very white Poppy, A duo which often dialled matters up which consists of minimal dream come
true explode. "benefit from the stop, jane rumoured between a couple reverb hefty volume delinquent to the first 4AD brochure. "it
has more sensible oftentimes,

Here is my blog :: michael kors iphone 4 case wallet: optrimaxdiet.com/.../...
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 
 
# Abel 2015-03-29 15:44
I bloog quite often and Ireally thank you for your information. This article has really peaked my interest.

I am going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new infofmation about oncce per
week. I sbscribed to your RSS feed as well.

Take a look at my web blog ... .net/profile/ErmaCumpstonckc iknth/]http://700Mm.com/escorts-in-bristol-pleasure/: www.Pov[censored
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Subscribe by RSS

Subscribe by email


Delivered by FeedBurner