Human Relations in the Classroom
Understanding the things that are not familiar to us is a very hard task to accomplish. In the attempt to be a highly effective educator, a teacher must take it upon themselves to adapt their abilities in a manner in which no student will feel the need to have apprehension or shame to enter their classroom. It is also very important that the families of the students in the classroom are not looked down upon or cast judgment upon for believing in a system or cultural practices that may or may not have been passed downed to them from generations ago. Skill 1
In my classroom I feel that I have shown an awareness and understanding of the values, lifestyles, contributions, and history of a pluralistic society by my willingness to accept the varying backgrounds, experiences, and cultures of my students as well as our society’s expectation for those students. I have come to realize that all students enter the schoolhouse doors as different individuals, no matter if they come from the same household. These same students have their own personalities, wants, likes and dislikes. My first approach to finding out these very important traits was done by a simple task, called an interview. I feel that’s as an educator we should not be so caught up on what we can teach our students, but what we can learn from them. Many times our position or stance on a certain issue causes us to prejudge individuals, not understanding that this person’s up bringing may have initiated the way this student approaches life (yes school is a part of life). This is where my interview plays such an important role. A question about favorite foods, movies, colors, clothes, and pets tells a lot about a family’s belief. My next step would be to conduct a home visit to meet the parents. This in home visit would take place in the home of the student; here I would ask the parents similar questions I asked the student to see how many comparisons there are, in this it lets me know that these things were passed down. It also would allow me to get to know the parents better. In contrast, some parents declined or did not want to have an actual in home visit. Not really knowing if this was a cultural issue, I suggest meeting at the school, or a place of their choosing. The meeting format however would not change. I also would adjust some of my personal beliefs that I try to teach my students. A big social skill that I promote is establishing eye contact with whom you are speaking to. This shows the person that you are interested in what they are saying as well as to show esteem and pride in who you are. In some cultures it is considered to be disrespectful to look a person directly in the eyes, or make eye contact. My way of respecting this cultural difference without compromising what I believe to be an esteem builder is to allow the student to look away, but require an audible voice and solid, complete sentence answers. Although some students that are being taught may be young at age, informing them of the expectations that society may place on them is imperative. Age appropriate instruction allows for the students to hear what they may be expected to do and how they are expected to perform. Some of the expectations may be negative, some may be too lofty, and some may be stereotypical; I let students know that they are their own individuals and that they should set expectations for themselves. One way that I do allow them to be individuals is with supplies, I make sure that I have enough materials to where each student can have their own specific one. This allows them to choose the one thing that they like; I try to never take away their ability of choice. Skill 2
In my classroom it is not very hard for me to recognize and deal with dehumanizing biases, including but not limited to, sexism, racism, prejudice, and discrimination, and an awareness of the impact such biases have on interpersonal relations. When I say it is not hard, I...
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