In my Humanities Classroom

My Classroom Environment

It is important to me that all of my students know that my classroom is a place where they can feel safe and supported. They will be able to see this by the way I treat them on daily basis with respect, showing a genuine interest of them as individuals, and valuing the diversity that makes the world unique. Visuals around the room will help confirm this allow for my students to be comfortable in their learning environment. As a result, I will:

  • put up posters that show focus on diversity that will let my students know that we will focus on more than just what the text books have to say. I am still working on gathering these posters for my room, but they could include showing people such as Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Amelia Earhart, Dr. Mae Jemison, or Wilma Rudolph.
  • in class I will also work on incorporating males and female students equally in conversation. Occasionally classes are lopsided in regards to gender, or their are a few students who tend to dominate a conversation. I will work each day to make sure all of my students have the opportunity to make their voices heard.

Diversity in My Curriculum

Through teaching humanities, I have a wide range of perspectives that I can incorporate from both an English and social studies perspective to help focus on diversity in the classroom. This could include using literature by minority authors concerning the topics and events we are studying, which could then be used to in comparison to other authors in order to help students compare and contrast varying perspectives on the same events.

I also want my students to take a hands on approach in learning about diversity through various activities and research. For example, one activity that I am going to use is a historical Facebook page assignment. I will give students a template that is set up like a Facebook page, and they will build a Facebook page based on their lives. Students will have the freedom to pick their own historical figure, which will allow for them to choose someone from another time, place and culture of their own to learn about, which in turn will give them another view on an event or person from history that they had not thought about before. Students will then present these projects, which will give the rest of the class more exposure to diverse perspectives, people, and events. By hearing it from their fellow students, I also feel like it has a better chance of making an impact, instead of the information just being relayed to them through the teacher.

Relating to my Students

Building strong relationships with my students and getting a sense of their background I believe is key to having a successful classroom in which all my students can succeed. It is also important not only for me to know my students, but for them to know me to were they are comfortable learning and working with me on a daily basis. Therefore, I will work to do the following things in order to build relationships and relate to my students:

  • I will give students the freedom in many activities to write or choose research topics that are important or interesting to them. This could prove to be beneficial in many ways. First, it allows for students to choose a topic that they are genuinely interested in that will allow for them to become engaged and take ownership of their work. This in turn will give me an outlet to see what my students are interested in, as well as possibly learning about past experiences my students have had that have influenced their lives.
  • I will use team building exercises and ice breakers to get know my student's better, and to allow them to get to know me. By knowing more about one another, my students and I will begin to be more comfortable with one another, allowing for the students to begin to open up become comfortable learning with me.
  • I will also make a strong effort to be involved with my student's outside of my classroom. What I mean by these is in my interactions with students outside of my classroom during the school day and during extracurricular activities. By being around students outside of the classroom, I can learn more about their interests and other activities that they are part of. This gives me other outlets to get to know my students, which will help to strengthen our relationship in the classroom.