Middle school is a period in students’ lives when they usually notice the differences between them, and others. Misunderstandings and exclusiveness can lead to bullying and isolation, and it is most important to educate about diversity and promote acceptance among children. The current report summarizes the key elements of my diversity plan: psychological and physical approaches to establishing a diverse environment, inclusive educational activities, and the ways to ensure the classroom stays just and tolerant.
Setting up and supporting a diverse environment within a classroom is the first step in promoting acceptance and tolerance among the students. Classroom climate can be influenced physically and psychologically, and utilizing both approaches ensures the best possible results. In my classroom, the inclusiveness of the environment would be encouraged through the presence of ethnic representation in decorations and classroom attributes. For example, there would be a calendar with markings for all holidays, art and posters depicting different ethnicities, and inclusive and diverse books. Additionally, classroom items would not be tagged with students’ names to promote sharing and communication. To affect the environment psychologically, I would encourage positivity and acceptance of others within the classroom. By using genderless vocabulary and establishing and explaining the boundaries for name-calling, the children will be politer and less aware of gender segregation. Moreover, making sure to exclude such negative interactions as sarcasm, scorning, and mockery, I would be a role model for appropriate behavior and make the students feel emotionally safe.
Furthermore, students’ activities should reflect and incorporate equity and inclusiveness. In such a way, children will get a better understanding of fairness and be more engaged in learning. For example, according to Juvonen et al. (2019), prosocial problem-solving and conflict resolution tasks improve social behavior patterns and reduce emotional distress, contributing to positive communication. Additionally, they would be engaged in self-expressionistic and creative exercises, emphasizing their uniqueness. Moreover, I would encourage children to share their experiences, opinions, routines, and values with others daily to get accustomed to the dissimilarities in people’s lifestyles. Being mindful of disabilities and differences in processing skills, making sure to utilize a variety of media versions, include transcriptions, and read written instructions out loud is important as well. Students will be explained the reason behind these actions and encouraged to act similarly. Lastly, introducing children to other ethnicities would be done through foreign music and media; names from other languages would be discussed and taught to be respected and pronounced correctly.
Equity and Justice
Making sure equity and inclusion are always present in the classroom might be difficult. To secure an unbiased and just environment, I will teach the children to call out the instances of inequality and speak up for themselves and others. Children who have been taught the reason for inclusion and diversity might be more alert and eager to point out wrongdoings. In case when children cannot speak up, I will organize weekly surveys about their school experience and dedicate a special place for submitting any thoughts they are unwilling to voice.
The current report summarizes my diversity plan for promoting tolerance and inclusion within a middle-school classroom. The diverse environment will be established through positivity and the presence of various cultures in the classroom’s items and decorations. Such activities as problem-solving, conflict-resolving tasks, lifestyle sharing, self-expression, and introduction to different ethnicities in a disability-friendly way would be included. Teaching children to point out injustice and speak up for themselves and others, as well as organizing surveys and other methods of communication, would ensure my classroom stays tolerant and accepting.
Juvonen, J., Lessard, L. M., Rastogi, R., Schacter, H. L., & Smith, D. S. (2019). Promoting social inclusion in educational settings: Challenges and opportunities. Educational Psychologist, 54(4), 250-270.