Globalization increases diversity as people from different racial, religious, cultural, and linguistic orientations converge. As a result, schools get diverse students requiring an inclusive classroom for learning. An inclusive learning environment is a classroom climate where all students feel academically and intellectually appreciated and supported. The teacher’s words, characteristics, and actions must be geared toward an inclusive classroom. Creating an inclusive classroom is the prerequisite for learning because it gives learners a sense of belonging.
Effective Communication Skills
Teachers play a significant role in the learning process by imparting skills, knowledge, and abilities to learners. However, the learning goal is achieved if they possess the necessary characteristics that promote diversity. Communication is the fundamental teacher characteristic that promotes inclusive learning (Whitaker & Valtierra, 2018). An excellent teacher uses a language that all learners can understand. Using a language that some learners do not understand excludes them and affects their learning. For example, in a class with a mixture of black Americans, Africans, Indians, Caucasians, and Asians, the teacher should ask the class which language is understood by all. If all the learners understand English, it is made to be the official language. As the teacher communicates with the students, all words that promote racial discrimination should be avoided (Sánchez et al., 2019). For example, referring to some groups of learners as those from third-world countries may lead to an inferiority complex, affecting their interaction and learning in the long run.
Understanding Student’s Unique Needs
Teachers must understand the unique needs of each student and offer solutions to the students’ problems. A positive attitude toward learners is manifested through speaking to them in a friendly voice to make them free to share their challenges with the teacher. A teacher must offer instructions in different ways that meet the student’s unique needs. As students answer questions, the selection strategy may make some students feel inferior, especially when they are not selected to answer the questions. The teacher must therefore devise a creative strategy that allows every learner to answer questions in the class. When all students feel equal when answering questions, inclusivity will be achieved, and the learning process will be successful (Farmer et al., 2019). Calling students’ names when teaching helps teachers create a bond with the students as they will feel they are personally known to the teacher and will therefore put more effort into learning. However, calling names should apply to all students because when the teacher calls a few students, the rest of the class will feel secluded.
Classroom Management and Connection with Families
The teacher must be a good classroom manager and organize the class in a way that promotes diversity and inclusivity. The character trait allows a teacher to arrange the class as per the various features to have students interact effectively through group work, teamwork in assignments, and motivating all the classroom to participate in the classroom activities. When issuing instructions, the teacher must always use different methodologies to ensure that all the student’s needs are addressed (Otukile-Mongwaketse, 2018). During the interaction, gestures and facial expressions may be carefully selected because some gestures carry different meanings in other cultures. The teacher should be physically near the students and maintain eye contact whenever communicating with the students. It is imperative to note that teachers teaching in diverse classrooms should avoid openly criticizing students as it may induce fear and lower self-esteem (Woolfolk & Hoy, 2003). Instead, the teacher should give individual attention and listen to all students to make the class environment conducive to learning and asking questions.
The connection between the classroom and the families is essential in promoting inclusive classes. When the teacher is connected to the student’s families and knows their background, they will likely treat the students based on their challenges. If the teacher creates a rapport with the students, it becomes easier for them to share their grievances (Nilson, 2016). A teacher’s words and actions must be geared towards creating a conducive classroom where students respect each other. At the beginning of the session, the teacher may lead the students in creating ground rules that may help the students understand each other and learn from each other.
Diverse classrooms are rising as people travel to different parts of the world. The teachers’ role is to ensure that diverse learners find a conducive learning environment despite their unique cultural or linguistic differences. Effective learning can only be achieved when equality is promoted in the class and all the students, regardless of their origin, feel part of the class and air their views effectively. The essential characteristics of a teacher include communication skills, effective class management, and collaboration to create a connection between the classroom and the families. Some of the actions a teacher can perform to promote inclusivity in class include setting ground rules and speaking in a language that all learners can relate to. It is imperative that during the beginning of the session, the teacher encourages learners to set ground rules that help them interact with one another toward the achievement of equality. Words that promote racial discrimination must be avoided to promote equality.
Farmer, T. W., Hamm, J. V., Dawes, M., Barko-Alva, K., & Cross, J. R. (2019). Promoting inclusive communities in diverse classrooms: Teacher attunement and social dynamics management. Educational Psychologist, 54(4), 286–305. Web.
Nilson, L. B. (2016). Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors. John Wiley & Sons.[PDF Document]. Web.
Otukile-Mongwaketse, M. (2018). Teacher-centred approaches their implications for today’s inclusive classrooms.[PDF Document]. Web.
Sánchez, P. A., de Haro-Rodríguez, R., & Martínez, R. M. (2019). Barriers to student learning and participation in an inclusive school as perceived by future education professionals. Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research (NAER Journal), 8(1), 18-24. Web.
Whitaker, M. C., & Valtierra, K. M. (2018). Enhancing preservice teachers’ motivation to teach diverse learners. Teaching and Teacher Education, pp. 73, 171–182. Web.
Woolfolk, A. & Hoy, W. K. (2003). Instructional leadership: A learning-centered guide to learning in schools. Pearson.