#2sirchat: What is diversity?

On July 2nd LA had it’s first 2sir LA teacher potluck on July 3rd we had our first chat. The topic was: what is diversity in the classroom

The 1st #2sirchat begins at 4pm pacific. Topic: What is diversity & why it should matter to you as a classroom teacher? http://t.co/zhJWrIj
HappyTeacherLA
July 3, 2011
Welcome to the first #2sirchat I thought it would be fitting to have the first chat on 4th of July weekend.
HappyTeacherLA
July 3, 2011
On the 4th of July the US declared it’s freedom from Great Britain, but in the US only certain people were free #2sirchat
HappyTeacherLA
July 3, 2011
Which is why we have the question for the first #2sirchat why is diversity important in modern classrooms and what is diversity?
HappyTeacherLA
July 3, 2011
@MissTeacha2 #2sirchat is a chat that discusses issues of diversity in education http://t.co/zhJWrIj
HappyTeacherLA
July 3, 2011
What is diversity?
@HappyTeacherLA diversity: exposure to differing view points, experiences, thoughts.. #2sirchat
akilbello
July 3, 2011
@HappyTeacherLA we learn when there is a variety of perspectives. it challenges our own thinking.. . thats how we grow #2sirchat
MissTeacha2
July 3, 2011
Do our own experiences change the definition of diversity?
@MissTeacha2 I remember a teacher being very into one ethnic group, but the thing was their was another ethnic group at the school #2sirchat
HappyTeacherLA
July 3, 2011
@HappyTeacherLA def we are only looking at diversity in terms our experiences and in the south its black/white issues #2sirchat
MissTeacha2
July 3, 2011
i get frustrated everytime i have to sit through one of those culture of urban ed . . .thats what diversity seems to be abt hear #2sirchat
MissTeacha2
July 3, 2011
@MissTeacha2 i think culture and upbringing defines and informs how we acquire information #2sirchat
akilbello
July 3, 2011
How does diversity impact our teaching? Should it impact our teaching?
@HappyTeacherLA @MissTeacha2 @akilbello U have 2 learn the community before you can teach it, race and cultural background knowledge is must
ProgresivTeachr
July 3, 2011
@ProgresivTeachr I wholeheartedly disagree! Good teaching is good teaching, #2sirchat
MissTeacha2
July 3, 2011
@ProgresivTeachr but its not a requirement to know the culture. . . #2sirchat
MissTeacha2
July 3, 2011
@MissTeacha2 Disagree about? True the basics are there, but you must adapt your style to the students being taught. #2sirchat
ProgresivTeachr
July 3, 2011
@ProgresivTeachr again, I disagree! I wouldn’t adapt my style if I were coming to your hood to teach #2sirchat
MissTeacha2
July 3, 2011
@MissTeacha2 that may not be true. you might have to adjust teaching style and focus. #2sirchat
akilbello
July 3, 2011
Does adjusting mean something different depending on your race or gender?
@ProgresivTeachr @MissTeacha2 do you think adjusting depends on your ethnic or gender? #2sirchat
HappyTeacherLA
July 3, 2011
@HappyTeacherLA Yes, being a white male in heavy minority schls, many stdnts apply background knowledge of “The Man” in a way. #2sirchat
ProgresivTeachr
July 3, 2011
@ProgresivTeachr I think you adjusting means something entirely different than @missteacha2 but maybe I’m off #2sirchat @akilbello
HappyTeacherLA
July 3, 2011
@HappyTeacherLA i was thinking the same @ProgresivTeachr @missteacha2 #2sirchat
akilbello
July 3, 2011

In closing all of our experiences have colored our views on diversity. I would like you to invite you to participate in #2sirchat next Sunday at 4pm pacific time and please feel free to use the #2sirchat hashtag when we you talk about issues of diversity in education.

Next week will be having a discussion on gender in the classroom, your gender, your students gender, and how it impacts your classroom.

Please enjoy the following video from Teaching Tolerance on how to empower your students.

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Comments
3 Responses to “#2sirchat: What is diversity?”
  1. Wow. That sounds like a pretty intense chat! I am very sorry that I missed it and will try to join in next Sunday. I am reading this archived conversation and struggling with @MissTeacha2’s assertion that she would not adapt her teaching style in a different ‘hood because “good teaching is good teaching.” I can think of some ‘hoods she should visit in order to test that assertion out 😉
    Very interesting conversation! Thank you for starting it, leading it, and archiving it!

  2. Lark says:

    It was an intense chat. We all look at diversity with our own lens. I can totally see MT’s point and PT’s point, but in teacher education and PDs on racial diversity there is a very one size fits all kind of an idea. And it’s usually from the idea of showing middle class white people how to understand (and in worse case scenario deal with) low ses visual minorities, which to me is a disservice, because diversity is more than race. It’s more than white people understanding how to deal with people of color. And poc are not a monolithic group of urban generalizations. Diversity includes gender, socio economic, sexual orientation, religion, and even regional. A southerner is going to have a much different experience than a northerner in an inner city school in Chicago.

    • jenmardunc says:

      PD is not the same everywhere. Both in the town where I live and in the town where I teach, PD is always about diverse learning styles. It is always about individualizing instruction to meet the needs of each child–no matter what their heritage, appearance, or SES. MT’s comment that “good teaching is good teaching” no matter where you are runs counter to my own personal philosophy of teaching, and it also opposes everything I have been taught in my graduate programs and PD. For me, teaching is not about me rigidly adhering to a particular style no matter where I am or who is in my classroom. Teaching is about adapting to meet the needs of each individual student. When you get to know each student, by listening to them and interacting positively with them, a mutual respect develops. That includes respect for a both student and teacher’s heritage, sexual orientation, religion and SES. A teacher who is not willing to adapt to the individual needs of her/his students is missing out on those kinds of relationships–the kind that have a lasting effect on both student and teacher. I am in a nontraditional situation (one room alternative high school program with only 29 students each day, all day.) I understand that close personal relationships with students aren’t as feasible in a school where a teacher sees 300 students per day. But no matter where you teach, I think student-centered approaches can be implemented, and can lead to positive relationships. I would encourage MT to check out some resources like this one: Student-Centered Teaching Methods In the History Classroom: Ideas, Issues, and Insights for New Teachers – Academia.edu http://bit.ly/kDyXuU

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