By Jenna Dowers
College of Education Student, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (Emphasis in English)
America is considered to be the “land of the free,” where all people are equal. People from all over the world migrate here for better opportunities, equal rights and an overall better lifestyle.
So, why are there so many controversies about the diversity in our country?
These controversies most likely stem from prejudice, whether we like to admit it or not. Prejudice could be associated with many factors, including race, ethnicities, genders, etc. We are surrounded by prejudices every day, whether that be within a classroom or elsewhere.
This is why it is very important for us as teachers to establish unity as a whole within our classrooms.
I am sure many of you have heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This saying is something that we have heard a million times while growing up. Even though it may be repetitive, it has some truth behind it. As teachers, we especially need to abide by this old saying and treat every one of our students with equal respect, not just for ourselves, but also to exemplify this to our students.
A way in which we can incorporate every student in our classroom is by celebrating the different cultures and races among us. An example of this could be incorporating various cultural celebrations such as Dia De Los Muertos and Kwanzaa in the social studies and language arts curriculum, not just for a day or a month, but throughout the year. By researching and making them an integral part of our everyday learning, we are showing our students that we can celebrate and acknowledge each other, therefore exemplifying equity.
In addition to celebrating race and culture to create a sense of unity within the classroom, we as teachers should get to know each and every one of our students. Each student comes from a different background. There can be different activities created to allow the students an opportunity to get to know each other. These allow the students to share their backgrounds and culture, which creates unity and teamwork within the classroom setting.
Recognizing each and every student creates community within the classroom. Everyone can come together to celebrate the uniqueness and individualism of each student. Diversity is a beautiful thing that shapes us into who and what we are today, Americans, unifying us as a country. Diversity is something that should be recognized and celebrated to bring each and every one of us together as a whole.
Grand Canyon University’s College of Education celebrates unity and diversity, helping future teachers learn strategies to create inclusive classrooms. Find out more about our programs and our philosophy of learning, leading and serving by contacting us.
More about Jenna:
Jenna Dowers, a sophomore at Grand Canyon University, is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis in English. Additionally, she serves as a student worker in the College of Education building at the front desk. She grew up in a small town in California called Ramona, in the mountains above San Diego. Growing up there allowed her to be very involved in the community, school and church. In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and camping, working out and spending time with friends. It has been a blessing to be able to attend GCU with all of the great classes and fun opportunities. She loves her experience at GCU so far and is looking forward to see what the next two years have in store!
About College of Education
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