1. “Teaching in the Undertow: Resisting the Pull of Schooling-As-Usual” by Gregory Michie
As a new teacher we enter into the classroom with a sense of purpose in life. We teach and inspire children to be productive citizens in the world. In order to accomplish this we need to start with small steps. As a teacher we can always do something to help our students. Connecting with fellow colleagues that are dedicated and caring will be a positive ally in the school with you. Some days will be a challenge but if you can keep your head above water and never lose focus on what you are there to do, you will be fine.
2. “Brown Kids Can’t Be in Our Club: Raising Issues of Race with Young Children” by Rita Tenorio
Race is still a controversial issue in society. Even today people are afraid to discuss the issue publicly. The various activities, conversations and observations that were discussed in this article allow the students to become aware of race. They are not afraid to discuss it and realize they can challenge and stand up to hurtful comments and behaviors.
3. “What can I do when a student makes a racist or sexist remark?” Q/A
How teachers respond to different situations can be difficult. When dealing with inappropriate remarks we must look at all angles. Respect and standing up for the person or group the comment was directed to will allow for a great learning opportunity and discussion in the classroom.
4. “Framing the Family Tree: How Teachers Can Be Sensitive to Students’ Family Situations” by Sudie Hofmann
Family diversity for our students is challenging. If we are to have inclusive classrooms teachers need to be aware of sensitive family dynamics. Offering a variety of options for all students to choose from will allow the support to students that need it. The teachers and the parents can support each other and try to make everyone feel comfortable at school events
5. “Heather’s Mom Got Married” by Mary Cowhey
Another example of family diversity is having same sex parents. You can’t assume that all students live in ‘traditional’ heterosexual families. Equality and respect for all people and challenging bias opinions can be taught even in a grade two classroom. Children know that stereotyping people isn’t fair to them.
6. “Out Front” by Annie Johnston
A conscious effort in developing curriculum to battle homophobia is needed to ensure students feel supported in the school setting. This support can also be for fellow colleagues. Ensuring the administrative staff is on board to help is an essential part of a successful alliance in the school.
7. “Curriculum Is Everything That Happens: An Interview with Veteran Teacher Rita Tenorio”
As a new teacher we have to be as aware of the curriculum we teach as we do the social and political influences in our classroom. You begin to learn that curriculum is everything that happens in the classroom and is not really separated at all. It is important for new teachers to get to know their students and their families. As a teacher we should always asking if this is the best thing for our students. If it’s not stand up and be someone who will change it because chances are there will be many others that will stand with you. They just didn’t have the strength to stand up first.
8. “Working Effectively with English Language Learners” by Bob Peterson and Kelley Dawson Salas
English as a second language students need the support of the teachers. Teachers must take the time to understand what resources will be helpful to the students. Visual cues and even using materials from their home language will engage them. Encouraging students to also maintain their first language at home is important. Take the time to learn about the cultures of the students you teach. As a teacher you will grow in your knowledge and gain the respect of your students.
9. “Teaching Controversial Content” by Kelley Dawson Salas
Teaching controversial content in the classroom is important for our students knowledge base. Teachers decide what they teach in the classroom but they also have to be able to respond to questions from the administrators and parents. Social issues are prevalent in our society. Students are exposed to these issues in schools and communities. Teaching students how to understand and deal with these controversial issues is empowering them to make their own opinion and stand up for what they believe in.
10. “Unwrapping the Holidays: Reflections on a Difficult First Year” by Dale Weiss
Holiday celebrations in schools follow the ‘majority’ of the schools population. In a multicultural school this needs to be recognized. As a new teacher in a school it is probably better to observe the schools environment in the first year of teaching. Teachers that have been teaching for numerous years are sometimes resistant to change. Their belief system and values are important to them. However, in order to teach all students inclusively celebrating holiday diversity is just as important.