Response to a Story Addressing Family Diversity

 

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

 Written Response

 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:

ECS210.Summary.Response

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We Are All Treaty People

This morning we had a guest lecturer talking on teaching treaty education. I think it was one of the most beneficial lectures we have had so far in this class. Claire Kreuger shared personal experiences and mistakes (the smartest people learn from others’ mistakes!) that are practical and useful. 

It’s important for us as future educators to look at the treaty education outcomes, realize that all first nations are not the same, only teach what we know, and to tell our own stories. She also talked about having a Cree knowledge keeper to bounce ideas off of which I found to be a great resource. Having someone with an intimate knowledge of what you are trying to teach making sure you are getting across the right information in the right ways. (Not that there’s a right way to teach of course).

The last thing I want to share is her representation of what her students did, and are continuing to do with technology. I used to think that elementary students were to young to use twitter, to blog, to have so much freedom in digital storytelling. However seeing the examples of what kids can do when given the opportunity is incredible! They are brilliant and capable and creative. Absolute phenomenal lecture and learned a ton of practical things that I can’t wait to try out in my own classroom!

Here is a link to her Treaty Education blog:

http://treatypeople.edublogs.org