“We are all different, which is great because we are all unique. Without diversity, life would be very dull” (Catherine Pulsifer). Understanding diversity as a teacher is one of the most important concepts to be an effective teacher. It is important for us as teachers to recognize a variety of student needs including those of ethnicity, language socioeconomic class, disabilities, and gender. As teachers and as a school it is important to promote acceptance of cultural and other differences not only in the classroom but also in the community. In many schools, it is a useful idea to incorporate the concept of culture competence. That is, bring together a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies in a system to enable that system to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.
In my experiences in education, I come from a school district in which linguistic diversity is present in a significant majority of the students. Linguistic diversity has students who may have a first language other than English. English Language Learners are reasonably fluent in another language but who have not yet achieved comparable mastery in reading, writing, or speaking English. In my district, the substantial majority of students were either migrated from Mexico at older ages or came from households where Spanish was the only language spoken. In either case, learning English was not the easiest of tasks to accomplish. In my community what made learning English harder was the fact the most of most students the six, seven hours they were in school was the only exposure to the language.
My school did offer accommodation for students who struggled with learning English, ESL classes. However, in my opinion and fro...
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...earners and fully understand how all my students are diverse, and my ultimate goal is to be able to accommodate all of their learning.
In conclusion, I do not feel like at this point in my education I can adequately describe how I would address linguistic, culture and cognitive diversity in my classroom. However, the only thing I am sure about is that I will work hard to have my students feel like they are being thrown in the curve after a short period. Most pupils in the ESL classes felt this way when they were not ready to be placed in regular English classes without any choice. I feel learning a second language is something that takes years to get a reasonable understanding of, it is not a skill that has a time limit. I will find multiple ways to help all my students with all their diversities succeed and complete more than just a high school education.
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