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One of the most important strategies a teacher can utilize in effectively managing a culturally diverse classroom is to â€œfind ways to make personal connections with their students through informal conversations in which teachers and students discuss personal interests and events in their livesâ€ (Jones & Jones, 2016, p. 65). The foundation of building strong student/teacher relationships is to get to know the students through meaningful conversations by asking questions about their family structure, religion, food, history, traditions, holidays, etc. (Jones & Jones, 2016). A good time and place for this to happen is one on one at lunch in the classroom or in the cafeteria. A meaningful conversation can take place without it feeling threatening to the student. Teachers need to look for opportunities to have these conversations with every student they teach.
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Another strategy for a culturally diverse classroom would be for the teacher to model acceptance and respect to all students that are diverse which include â€œstudentsâ€™ exceptionality or disability, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, social class, religion, immigration status, nationality, or geographic area of origin or last residenceâ€ (Jones and Jones, 2016 p. 69). It is the teacherâ€™s responsibility to make sure that each student that they teach feels safe, valued, and respected (Jones & Jones, 2016). According to Conklin (2008), teachers â€œmust model the use of engaging and innovative teaching procedures for our students rather than “deliver” informationâ€ (Conklin, 2008, p.661). â€œAt another level, there is also a need to offer our students access to the pedagogical reasoning, feelings, thoughts and actions that accompany our practice across a range of teaching and learning experiencesâ€ (Conklin, 2008, p.661). Jesus was the best model to show love and acceptance because He created every individual. In Isaiah 43:7 (King James Version) it says, â€œEven every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made himâ€.
Another strategy is focused on the cultural sensitive communication with the students that we teach. During the times that a teacher is having meaningful conversations as listed in the first strategy, they can find out more about the language that the student is familiar with and some of the cultural differences in the communication. Teachers need to seek knowledge in the communication style of the students they serve. Jones and Jones (2016) used the example of a teacher on a field trip motioning children to come with her with her hands. In the childrenâ€™s language that meant to move away (Jones & Jones, 2016). Teachers need to be careful about non-verbal cues and what that may represent to the student. Other things teachers can be aware of with a diverse student population are â€œissues involve physical space, the meaning of eye contact, willingness to answer questions, time orientation, being competitive, physical activity while learning, and level of verbal interaction during group discussionsâ€ (Jones & Jones, 2016, p. 84).
Conklin, H. G. (2008). Modeling compassion in critical, justice-oriented teacher education. Harvard Educational Review, 78(4), 652-674,706. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/docview/212341059?accountid=12085
Jones, V. F., & Jones, L. S. (2016). Comprehensive classroom management: Creating communities of support and solving problems (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.