In this blog I will be addressing Principle H4 – Honor family/community involvement in the learning process. I am so fortunate to teach in a community of families that maintains high expectations of educators and is also willing to put in any hours that are necessary to help us get the job done. Furthermore, we are blessed with a varied representation of cultures and ethnicities. In my class I have students from India, China, Turkey and Mexico and several had recently traveled to these countries to visit family.
Such collaboration with families along with the diverse make-up of my classroom served to enhance a multi cultural unit I presented which featured the customs and celebrations of a variety of countries. I sent out a request to my classroom families for volunteers to come in and present a custom, celebration, and/or tradition that was special to their family and specific to their country of origin (including the United States). I was pleased with the response I got and students benefited from lessons pertaining to Diwali, Holi, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Las Posadas and Hanukkah.
While there are many worthwhile philosophies that guide a teacher’s craft, a significant one for me is how we honor and recognize the families and communities our students come from. This is true for school communities that are in economically advantaged areas as well as in areas that are economically disadvantaged. It is not often that I meet a parent who has nothing to offer in regards to enriching the education of all students in my class. Sometimes it just takes an invitation and encouragement.