Diversity is Awesome!
Incorporating diverse perspectives in the classroom
I've tried to keep my decor fairly neutral--I do not want to project an image of only one kind of person as the typical Spanish speaker. I want to take every opportunity to remind my students that the Spanish-speaking world is large and varied, and that it is slowly growing to include them as well. The look and feel of my classroom will ideally be welcoming and reflective of not only the diversity of the students but the greater diversity out here in the wide world.
I have worked hard to encourage my students to feel comfortable in my class, and to set up a supportive environment. This is something that has been fairly successful in a couple of my classes, but is an almost constant struggle with a couple other classes. In fact I just had to give my 7th period a serious talking-to yesterday because they would not stop poking fun at each other. I stressed how important it is for students of a foreign language to feel safe from any kind of harm or hassle, whether physical or emotional/verbal, because I need them to feel comfortable putting themselves out there and making mistakes.
I don't have any photos of my students, I'll have to work on that, but I have some photos of their work and some little tidbits here and there that I've captured to brighten my day and look back on when I start to wonder what made me think I could handle this teaching thing :)
Thanksgiving projects-- "Doy gracias por..." decorating my bulletin board
"Señora Azulera"-- a comic book character I created for an example project
After being out sick for two days, I returned to find this message from two of my 7th period students on my board
I have taken as many opportunities as I can find to remind my students that it is okay to just be themselves, and I have tried to teach by example, embracing my own differences, and complementing students sincerely on things that showcase their individuality.