What’s similar? What’s different? These are things children notice almost instantaneously, so it’s important to include diversity work in your daycare and afterschool facilities.
In part one, we explored ways to incorporate diversity into the classroom through vocabulary, learning about people’s culture and traditions year round, and asking leading, empathetic, and appropriate questions. Don’t miss out and read it here!
The DC area is a rich and diverse community which is why at Community Education Research Group we want to provide inclusive and diverse care in all of our child care services — from before and after school care, early education, and our daycare options. Join us in today’s post as we expand more on how to implement diversity in the classroom.
Diversity in the DC Classroom!
Kids pick up on similarities and differences quickly and need guidance as they navigate them. And since this is not going away, arming them with the wherewithal to discuss it is only advantageous for this future generation.
Openly Discuss Topics Surrounding Diversity
What quells a positive understanding of diversity in bias and stereotypes, so it’s important to talk about them in the classroom. When you are working in the classroom and doing art projects, you can talk about different similarities and differences in what they’re making. Apply this to a real-world experience and how people treat others differently because of their differences, and openly discuss why this is an issue. The more open and honest you can be with your students, the more they can feel comfortable asking questions and navigating this sometimes muddled topic. And, the more these conversations are had, the less likely they’ll develop a narrow and exclusive view of diversity.
Empathize With Each and Every Learner
Every child comes with a didn’t set of experiences that contribute to how they experience and relate to diversity. It is important to see and notice each learner and help meet them where they’re at. It can be greatly frustrating when you see cruel behavior and hear unkind words, but you can teach them and hopefully incite change. Put yourself in the child’s position — perhaps they feel left out and begin saying mean things to the others because they were hurt. Use this experience to better give them the vocabulary to relate to their experience, something along the lines of “I know you may feel hurt because the other kids left you out. It is okay to feel sad and hurt, but don’t continue the hurt. Would you like to go and have a conversation with them?” This better unites the two sides and they can hear each other out.
Be a Model of Diversity
Children are always watching and listening to what you do, so ensure you are being a steward of diversity. The kids are looking to you as their leader, so be mindful of your actions and responses and continue to foster an environment of diversity.
Diversity is all around us and it will be present in your classroom through language, abilities, and culture. Guide your classroom and teach diversity every day!
Watch your child thrive in our daycare and afterschool child care services! Reach out to us today!