1. Growing and Developing Professionally Teacher welcomes feedback from colleagues when made by supervisors or when opportunities arise through professional collaboration.
Many people I’ll be working with will have a different cultural background than myself. I’ll work with people of different faiths, race, and ethnicity. I’ll welcome feedback from colleagues and supervisors who are culturally different from myself and use our differences to my advantage to learn more about students/families that have a different culture or background from my own. By welcoming this feedback we’ll be able to collaborate as a team in helping to understand the background and culture of our students.
3. I learned to not be “color blind” and how that kind of thinking can actually be detrimental because we should be celebrating our differences and not trying to hide them. We are all different, no two people are the same and we need to learn from each other instead of trying to push our own culture onto those who are different. This will help reduce misunderstandings based on incorrect information as well as help us embrace one another.
4. There were very little differences of cultural where I grew up in Montana, which made it quite a shock when I moved to Memphis for undergrad as I don’t believe I was very culturally competent. I quickly saw the difference in culture between me and so many of the people I came in contact with, people with different values and beliefs, race, and religion. I was no longer a majority but actually a minority in more ways than one. I was hesitant to talk about other people’s cultures or backgrounds for fear I’d offend or insult them. This fear is something I’ve learned to let go of. Asking is one of the best ways to learn and help celebrate our differences instead of staying quiet and assuming or making my own judgements. This is something I’ll do with my own students and their parents/families. I’ll ask them about their culture, celebrate our differences, and embrace what makes us unique and different. I’ll show empathy for those that have a different upbringing or background than my own and although I may not be able to relate to certain situations or experiences they’re going though, I’ll be able to relate to the emotion their experiencing.
I have found, the best way for me to help reduce misunderstanding and break stereotypes about my own culture and background, is to be myself and live by example. This sounds simple enough but as I treat others how I want to be treated and love others around me it’s easier to talk about cultural differences. Once someone finds out about my faith they are often filled with questions and I’m always willing to answer, as long as they aren’t confrontational or accusatory.
5. I’ll continue to lead by example and ask my students about their cultures with an open mind and a desire for understanding. Other students will see this and, hopefully, will also have a desire to learn more about their peers and together we’ll celebrate our differences. Students will learn from one another and while in the classroom, realize, though we may be different, we still have the same goals and desires.
6. Remain open minded and let go of what stereotypes I may have or what I may expect or think about a certain culture. Continue to live by example and treat others how I want to be treated. Reach out to families that differ culturally from my own to continue to learn. Read books from authors culturally different from my own as well as attend events that explore and celebrate different cultures.