I learned a lot about culturally responsive teaching in my Intro to Diversity for Educators college course and these same ideals were reflected in my English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). This course taught me a lot about various cultures, stereotypes, and the power of discrimination and prejudice and how, as teachers, we must continually analyze and observe ourselves in order to grow and learn. I personally believe that it is important for teachers to understand and emphasize the cultures of the students in the classroom in order to create a caring, safe environment where students feel free to express themselves.
I believe that as a teacher I should never assume something about a student due to his or her gender, race, socioeconomic status, or other feature. Every teacher should see that each student has strengths; each student should be valued based on what they can do, not on what they cannot do. As Albert Einstein famously stated, “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” I make mistakes and I understand that my students will make mistakes but I want to provide them with the ability and chance to be successful. I do not want to judge a student based on previous actions; instead, I want to look to the future and what the student can and will do.
I believe that making connections to students are extremely important in the classroom. In the beginning of the year, I will implement many community building activities so my students feel safe and comfortable. By starting the class with these positive activities, the students will be successful later on in the year. I want to make connections to students by learning about their lives and including their interests and lives in my classroom through culturally responsive teaching. I believe it is important to include parents in the education process as well so that everyone feels supported and valued. I think that communicating with parents is crucial to building a positive environment for the students. I want my parents to know what is happening in the classroom so they can reinforce the ideas at home. In my kindergarten classroom, I communicate with parents by writing notes in their binders to let parents know about the progress of their students in terms of learning new sight words.
My goal as an education is to create a classroom environment which is warm and welcoming to all students. I want to engage my students by integrating their interests and lives in lessons. I think that building up this positive environment in the beginning of the year is crucial to success in the end of the year.