Fostering Cultural Awareness in Your Students

Adam Fragale
Curriculum Specialist
Blog on November 18 2021

The National Center for Education Statistics released a report in February of 2019, stating that the school-age population in the United States is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse.

Being a teacher is no easy task, but it should not be a big ask to make sure you are creating a positive learning environment in which your students feel safe.

When we decided to become teachers, it was understood that our job was to:

  • Present and prepare effective lessons
  • Observe and evaluate student performance
  • Assign work, tests, and classwork
  • Communicate effectively

With all that has happened in the world over the last few years, it is more important now, than ever, to maintain those ideals and not interject your own thoughts on politics and policy. You are to remain impartial and focused on creating a safe, inclusive environment for your students.

So how can we begin to promote cultural awareness in our classrooms?

  1. Understand and recognize that your students all have different values shaped by diverse backgrounds.
    • Never assume anything about your students that isn’t purely academic.
  2. Your students today are exposed to more of the world than any generation prior. That is a massive amount of exposure.
    • They need to be taught to learn and appreciate the cultures from around the world.
  3. Finally, cultural awareness is identified with how your students connect with people they meet.
    • When students are more culturally aware of their peers, that will lead to more constructive conversations and decision making about the people they will meet in their lives.

Fostering cultural awareness in your students is not a strategy, but more of a mindset.  Get to know your students, proudly plaster the classroom walls with their work, choose reading materials that represent your classroom diversity, and teach compassionate lessons that embrace values and incorporate cultures to make the students feel valued and respected.

 


For more tips, tricks, and tools for teaching in and out of the classroom, check out more articles on the Teq Talk blog.

We also offer virtual professional development, training, and remote learning support for educators with OTIS for educators. Explore the technology, tools, and strategies that can spark student success — no matter where teaching or learning are happening.


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