Cultural Diversity

1. Teaching requires a sensitivity to cultural differences. This should involve the ability to showcase our differences in a beautiful way, as well as showing ways that students are similar. By allowing students to work collaboratively together, they will be able to identify with one another. My goals will be t allow students to explore cultures different from their own and try to put themselves in another's shoes. Only by allowing students to think about how others think can they truly begin to gain an understanding of how others live. Someone's cultural identity or abilities cannot limit what they have access to in your classroom. It is my job as a teacher to ensure each of my students have equal access and opportunities, whether that means having text and resources in an alternate language, or functional and accessible pieces of equipment in my classroom. Our differences should be praised and used to create culturally intelligent learning environment.
2.I have always wanted to trace back distant relatives. I think more often than not, people are overall curious as to where we come from. The furthest back I have found are great great great, etc. grandparents from England and Germany. Not all of our cultural makeup depends on where your ancestors are from though. Your culture is something you exhibit everyday. It's how your dress, how you talk, foods that you eat, all the activities that seem "normal" to you. What can be dangerous is using that word "normal" too much. Growing up, I always noticed those different from me. Coming from the family I do, I was taught that just because someone is different than you, doesn't mean they are not "normal". My experiences with those different from myself, such as one of my close Muslim friends from elementary school, a Jewish friend I have made in college, or the Mormon family I have grown close to over the last few years, have all led me to believe that no matter how different you think you are from someone, you probably have at least one thing in common with them.  Using this in a future classroom would mean getting to know each of your students on a level deeper than just a grade. Being able to point out similarities in students who believe they have nothing in common could be a helpful tool.