I have selected a couple of excerpts of a response I wrote addressing family diversity in the classroom. The full write-up is attached at the bottom
I decided to respond to the story “Framing the Family Tree: How Teachers Can Be Sensitive to Students’ Family Situations.” After I had finished reading and summarizing all the stories, that was the one that stuck out to me. I think it was because it seems like family diversity should be an obvious topic to think about and address, but yet it’s something I have never really thought about. The way that I have previously thought about my future students’ families is that they are all varied versions of the standard nuclear family. But this way of thinking is naïve, as there are so many different types of families.
This story also resonated with me because families and the home environment are where children spend the first significant amount of their lives, and where they come from, and go home to, each day. The experiences they have at home carry out into the classroom, and it’s important to know how it affects the students. Simple things like making Mothers Day crafts or Fathers Day gifts can have serious emotional implications for certain students if they feel like they don’t have anyone to give them to. They feel like they are not part of the norm, and that they’re family doesn’t fit the normal mold.
Just like the story “The Brown Kids Can’t Be In Our Club” and how it talks about how young children begin to become aware of racial differences, I believe it’s partially the same with families. Each child is raised in a household, with a family to them is just like any other. Once they begin to socialize with other children and are exposed to more media they discover that their family is either the nuclear “normal” family, or there is a difference. I believe we need to start teaching and exposing children to different types early on, with an atmosphere of respect and acceptance. That way a community within the classroom can be built where the students can celebrate differences and discover similarities.
Continued in link below: