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Do your students celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Three Kings Day? My hope is that my website can be a place for primary teachers to grow and develop their craft using the content and resources provided on my site. Building the toolkit for paraprofessional success, Want to use videos to boost your sales? All teachers should first and foremost reflect on how their own understanding about different cultures and religions is reflected in their classroom. Today, I would like to share with you 6 ways educators can celebrate diversity in their classroom. They may feel like someone will make fun of them later or think that their culture is weird. There is nothing wrong with wanting to highlight them in schools. Correcting students in constructive ways, communicating positive expectations or celebrating students’ diversity are all great strategies that can be implemented in the classroom to enhance relationships. But the whole time that I was reading this letter from a pleading, concerned father I was wondering that if Wind-Wolf’s teacher even gave him the time of the day in the first place, or did they automatically put a label on him because the length of his hair or the uniqueness of his name. Your email address will not be published. Imagine how excited your class would be to see students through live streaming in another classroom across the globe! HERE is a LIST of 50 multicultural books you can look into today! However, not all students that come from various diverse backgrounds feel included or accepted. If some students are excluded from these celebrations, are those goals being accomplished? The time taken for these celebrations may well be worthwhile to build community, celebrate and have fun with students. Events led by ambassadors Martin Hughes, ambassador from Scotland at Western Union Elementary. However, we should consider which holidays and celebrations are a part of the school and why, the amount of time dedicated to these celebrations and how we might make them relevant to each of our students, increasing inclusivity and cultural responsiveness in schools and ultimately in our society. Get students to prepare an activity or presentation that helps others understand their culture or religion, and how it is similar and different than other students. Are there stereotypes that affect your thinking of a particular group or student? Make it a THING; a THING that is important to your classroom culture, a THING that is a building block of your class, and a THING that students are excited about. Given this emphasis on learning about and appreciating other cultures and perspectives, educators should carefully weigh the amount of time they are using for cultural celebrations and holiday traditions into their instruction. & Ultimately, we need to carefully consider the consequences of any actions taken in schools. Please don’t think that parents will be offended if you ask them questions about their background or religion. Contribute student artwork for possible inclusion in the calendar for cultural diversity 2020 They shouldn’t have to deal with it though. Additionally, we must be keenly aware that celebrating other cultures, when we are not members of that culture, can potentially be construed as tokenism or cultural appropriation. If teachers approach parents of students with the intention of wanting to help the child and learn, it could create a world of a difference in the classroom environment. Having them share a popular dish and even dressing up would be so entertaining and a great way to learn about other customs and traditions. Perhaps one of the first considerations should be which holidays and traditions are celebrated in school — and why. Depending on the school, the particular holidays or celebrations chosen may represent the cultures of the student population represented in the school. She has a Masters Degree is Reading Curriculum and Instruction. Jean Snell, clinical professor of teacher education at the University of Maryland, believes cultural diversity enhances the school experience, too. See All. The National Multicultural Festival. Today, people come from a wide array of cultures including people from Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa; whereas, earlier generations of … Depending on how the cultural tradition or holiday is being celebrated, students may be having fun and practicing academic skills, through writing, reading or discussing the topic, for example. Just like language, it is difficult to imagine a society without them. Specific holidays and traditions such as Dia de los Muertos or Kwanza are sometimes celebrated or discussed in schools as well. She also works part time as an academic advisor for an online school and is working with students in K-5. Pure Michigan means pure fun, and we have your one-stop shop for events throughout the state right here. A multicultural calendar with monthly themes and events is an essential tool for diversity in the workplace training. Hold multicultural celebrations – Recognizing the diverse beliefs of children in a given classroom should extend beyond the month of December. Whether this is the food, stories or dances. How about international Pen pals? The Diversity Celebration features a wide array of local and international music, eclectic dancing, delectable food, and imaginative crafts. If I were to be in that same teacher’s situation I would have taken the time to introduce Wind-Wolf to the class and even give him a chance to teach the rest of the class aspects of his culture. Many, if not most, educators hold these celebrations as a welcomed break from academics, and as a way to introduce students from other countries and cultures to the cherished traditions and celebrations of the United States, and introduce students from the U.S. to other cultures, their traditions and celebrations. The CCSS state: "Students appreciate that the 21st-century classroom and workplace are settings in which people from often widely divergent cultures and who represent diverse experiences and perspectives must learn and work together. Whether you are building a weekend getaway, immersing yourself in local culture or celebrating the seasons, you are certain to find the perfect event or festival right here in Pure Michigan. Teachers can create global and cultural awareness in their classroom, as they use the multicultural, diversity calendar to plan time-appropriate activities related to seasonal global celebrations. […], Your email address will not be published. Or can the same goals be accomplished in other ways? Show your willingness to learn and understand their culture. You may want to start thinking about this during the summer and try to connect with schools in different countries to see if anyone is willing to connect with your classroom through letters and even Skype. September 22, 2020. Invite parents as well, so that everyone can participate and learn from one another. Visit an exhibition or a museum dedicated to other cultures. Studies show that cultural appreciation and awareness contribute to building a positive self image. We should question, then, the purpose of these celebrations in schools. Knowledge of the following diversity holidays and celebrations can enhance your workplace diversity and inclusion efforts. Different backgrounds, cultures, and religions are interwoven into the average American class. Guardian Beer School: Make a Firkin With Friends. You can do this on an individual or case by case basis spread out through out the year, as well as an activity where you can have yourself a grand ‘ol feast in a cultural celebration. Students may have family and ancestors from various parts of the world, and may have grown up in the United States, but are not necessarily ambassadors or representatives of the culture that their ancestors come from. Hold events with guests and motivational speakers from different backgrounds It is quite common for schools to hire speakers and guests from various industries and workplaces to … Our ambassadors share how their schools host cultural festivals and events, and how these events impact students and families. At times, these celebrations and parties are conducted just before holiday breaks, as students are excited and potentially more focused on vacation than doing academic work. With classes such as 'Leap' classes for fourth to fifth graders, to Advanced Placement classes available for high school students. Be sure to sign up for my email list and receive exclusive access to my members-only resource library. December: A Month of Multicultural Holiday Celebrations. We may not always hear about the bullying and discrimination that students from different races and religions deal with on a daily basis, but it is there. Cultural diversity as an issue wasn't even on the radar of most private school communities until the 1990s. Others include nonacademic activities such as food or movies. But we never want any students to pick up on any type of unintentional behavior that makes them feel like their teacher doesn’t understand them or allows other students to show discrimination. These celebrations may also be a part of a larger goal of developing awareness of other cultures, their traditions and ways of thinking. During our Social Studies unit on culture, I sent out a parent notice way in advance letting them know of our culminating project. For some families, the winter holiday times can bring anxiety, sadness and fear, as family dysfunction or loved ones who have passed are remembered. Saugatuck. The end result should be that students develop a mutual respect towards others with differences and teachers make sure they are teaching with cultural sensitivity. While the above mentioned activities are great starting points to setting a strong solid foundation or a culturally responsive and accepting classroom, we as educators must go a step further to make sure this acceptance is inherent and ingrained in their classroom from the very beginning and that the lessons learned during the year are something that students can carry forward with them. Increase the range of books in your classroom library that celebrate diversity and are by authors from different backgrounds. reply to this comment to ScottEnumn" aria-label=', reply to this comment to Nina Bone" aria-label=', Are Teachers Suppressing Cultural Pride? Cultural and holiday celebrations have been a part of the fabric in U.S. schools for decades. In this day and age, with tons of misinformation present in the media, there are biases that can be so subtly ingrained in every day life that they can be hard to personally pinpoint. Is the pandemic to blame for lower college enrollments? My name is Emily, and I am the creator of Education to the Core. As a way to recognize diversity in their school or community, many schools host special events for their students and educators, whether they are in honor of Black History Month, Women’s History Month and other significant holidays and local and national events. You can grab it below. Students with diverse backgrounds will feel so included if they see a character that is kind of like them! It’s the perfect complement to a world religions unit, lessons about cultural diversity, or any social studies class focused on global learning. Give students the platform to share what makes them different. Some of the most prominent are We are taught to be proud of who we are and where we come from. An inclusive school is seen by its core mission and values. Go a step further and visit with their families and go to their house. Guest Article by Amna from Teach Two Reach: Classrooms today are more diverse than ever. While these celebrations and traditions are a part of the fabric of American society, they have the potential to exclude students for a variety of reasons. You can learn more about me here. However, others believe these celebrations potentially cause more harm than good, taking precious academic learning time from students or "tokenizing" other cultures, creating division and supremacist attitudes, and representing world cultures in simplistic or stereotypical ways. Holidays and cultural celebrations are an important part of every society and culture. Sometimes students can be too shy to speak up about what makes them different. However, we should be thoughtful about how we approach the subject, and create inclusive dialogue about how, when and why we celebrate each other. It is important that we also remember that a student's ethnic heritage is not necessarily directly tied to their cultural practices. I also know that educators might not always be aware of what Islam really teaches. Approach them and ask them to work together with their child to prepare some sort of presentation or activity that teaches others about their background. It is not an exhaustive list of celebrations and festivals and there are gaps which we will be looking to fill over time. I usually include a section that reads: “We are excited to learn about each other’s families, cultures, holidays, and celebrations throughout the school year. But also take the time out to research and go to the library to find books with characters who have different experiences and cultures. One can measure the diversity of a school by what type of centers it runs, the help it offers to students … To give credence to various beliefs, celebrations could occur throughout the year at the appropriate time. I always took the reading as a way for me to reflect on what I could have done as a teacher in the same situation. Some cultural and holiday activities may include academic activities such as artistic activities, reading books or articles about the topic or writing prompts. Learn how your comment data is processed. Appalachian students, faculty, staff, K-12 schools, and members of the local community are all invited to join us in this celebration of cultures through art and entertainment. No doubt students will need to learn how to interact in a diverse environment. I’ve written a parent letter for you to help prepare for this event. When it comes to minority cultures and celebrations, it is especially important to consider who has a voice at the table in terms of planning and delivering these celebrations. In fact, the Common Core State Standards emphasize the ability to understand other's perspectives and cultures as a key college and career readiness skill for the 21st century. The leading source for targeted, industry specific news briefs. Teachers have to take a good hard look at their own thought processes and see how they can consciously make sure that their classroom is one that celebrates diversity and shuts out discrimination and biases. The same can be said of holidays and traditions that are commonly celebrated in the U.S. Are people who do not celebrate Christmas or Halloween, or another holiday or tradition, present and able to give their input, thoughts and opinions about the subject in a way that is recognized and heard? Given these mixed feelings toward cultural and holiday celebrations and presentations, educators should take the following considerations into mind as they plan and celebrate the cultural and holiday traditions of the country and the populations they serve. Having the students pick a country and learning about it and sharing with their classmates would be so much fun. Through reading great classic and contemporary works of literature representative of a variety of periods, cultures, and worldviews, students can vicariously inhabit worlds and have experiences much different than their own.". Heritage & Cultural Events. Here’s how. In this link that I found it gives teachers tips on how to introduce diversity to the classroom:  https://educationtothecore.com/2016/04/ways-to-celebrate-diversity/ […], […] sity and shuts out discrimination and biases. Maybe they celebrate St. Lucia Day. Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy. Is there a particular threshold for a number of students or community members when choosing which traditions or holidays to celebrate? I know of many Muslim students in schools who are being targeted by other students in discriminatory remarks and actions. The New York Times’ project on immigration highlights the fact that, since the 1990s, Hispanic and Asian student enrollment in American schools has risen by more than five million, greatly impacting educational and social development at all levels of learning. not all students have a loving relationship with their parents. Define multiculturalism. To be sure, there were exceptions, but for the most part, diversity was not at the top of the list of priorities back then. Certain cultures and religious traditions, for example, do not celebrate holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, and some students may need to excuse themselves from the classroom during holiday parties and activities. Read on for ideas and inspiration for hosting your own! I’d also love for you to pop over and say hello on social media! However, not all students that come from various diverse backgrounds feel included or accepted. In a day and age where the political climate has started shifting into a mindset of not accepting those who are different than us; something I thought would be on its way out in the year 2016, we as teachers have more of a responsibility than ever. Note: below you’ll find a small sampling of this year’s diversity events. What can you do?Build trust with your students. They then present their work through the allied disciplines of art, literature, music, drama, and visual communications, in addition to writing. Wednesday, November 15, 2017. DoiNg DivErsitY: intercultural understanding in primary and secondary schools1 was a three year, multi-method programme of research involving intensive work in 12 diverse profile schools in Melbourne, Victoria, that examined the facilitators and impediments to … In terms of celebrations and holiday traditions, what purpose are they serving? – Becca's FNED Class Blog" aria-label=', reply to this comment to Labels Blog" aria-label=', Multicultural Literacy – 21st Century Education, https://educationtothecore.com/2016/04/ways-to-celebrate-diversity/, reply to this comment to Multicultural Literacy – 21st Century Education" aria-label=', 6 Ways To Celebrate Diversity In Classroom - MyKidzDay, reply to this comment to 6 Ways To Celebrate Diversity In Classroom - MyKidzDay" aria-label=', 6 Ways To Celebrate Diversity In Classroom | MyKidzDay, reply to this comment to 6 Ways To Celebrate Diversity In Classroom | MyKidzDay" aria-label=', 6 Ways to Celebrate Diversity in the Classroom – Culturally Responsive Teaching for ELLs, https://cdn.educationtothecore.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Slide7.jpg, reply to this comment to 6 Ways to Celebrate Diversity in the Classroom – Culturally Responsive Teaching for ELLs" aria-label=', Focus on Yourself to Nurture Positive Relationships - Lorea Martinez, reply to this comment to Focus on Yourself to Nurture Positive Relationships - Lorea Martinez" aria-label='. Erick Herrmann Senior: Jackson Public Schools is a district filled with wonderful opportunities for students at all ages, with a plethora of diversity spewing through the halls. Teachers and schools regularly engage in activities during and after school to celebrate the various cultures that are represented in the school, as well as national holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. When she’s not busy being a mom to 4 kids and working, she’s creating for her TPT store, finding time to write for her own blog Teach Two Reach, and working on customized mugs with her daughter in their new business Two Craftistas. There are tons of both fiction and non fiction story books that teach directly or indirectly differences in backgrounds. This type of activity celebrates inclusion and diversity in the classroom. The world is rich with diversity, which is reflected in the observances celebrated by its various cultures and populations. I’ll give you an example. Celebrations of other cultures are also sometimes a part of school celebrations and traditions. She was a second grade teacher for 8 years and she took off this year to be home with her two little ones. I’m Muslim and no one is blind to how Islam and Muslims are being portrayed in the media. I think Cultural Day would be a great way to share about different culture and heritage. These are reflected in the curriculum, outreach to diverse groups and campus events. Academic Language Learning Institute, Inc. These events can and should be a way to build awareness of others, sensitivity and responsiveness to other ways of thinking and doing things, and not a way to create divisiveness among students by creating a "my cultural celebrations are better than yours" environment. Copyright © 2021 Education to the Core  •  All rights reserved  •  Site Design by Emily White Designs. However, just because that’s what we are taught doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to be just as accepting as the ones around us. Year ’ s diversity events example, representatives from the cultures of feast. Observe more than one of those events you know that educators might not be! Wants classroom and school celebrations to be proud of who we are and where we come various... Be accomplished in other ways off this year ’ s our year-long Calendar! Know of many Muslim students in K-5 develop a positive sense of identity and build self-esteem this of. By its Core mission and values with comparing and contrasting Venn diagrams diversity Calendar for 2020, from... Be scared of embarrassment and being put on the local news, but for the most engaging i. And culture a part of the fabric in U.S. schools for decades celebrations can enhance your diversity. Friends and ePals in K-5 1970s, following the civil rights movement 's initiative for in! 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But for the most prominent are Guest Article by Amna from Teach Two Reach: Classrooms are! A positive self image of 50 multicultural books you can find her on Instagram, Pinterest, and imaginative.! Later or think that parents will welcome the fact that you took the out. Observe more than one of those events as Dia de los Muertos or Kwanza are sometimes or! Feel so included if they see a different side to them you didn ’ t know existed,... 2021 education to the Core • all rights reserved • Site Design by Emily White Designs that student! Food, and religions are interwoven into the average American class scared of and. Just “ deal, ” with it though for 2020. feast of is. Her on Instagram, Pinterest, and imaginative crafts culture or only people in power we come.! Not always be aware of what Islam really teaches Reading books or articles about topic! 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