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Appreciating and Valuing Diversity
Diversity in the classroom defined
Having a diverse group of students simply means recognizing that all the people are unique in their own way. Their differences could consist of their reading level, athletic ability, cultural background, personality, religious beliefs, and the list goes on. There has always been diversity in the classroom, but in today society it is important to embrace it and make positive use of it. Teachers should value diversity and they need to model this attitude to their students. When people value diversity, they recognize and respect the fact that people are different and that these differences is generally a good thing. For example, when attempting to solve a problem, it is better to assemble a diverse team with many skills and many different ways of approaching the problem than it is to assemble a team that has all their strength concentrated in one area.
What can teachers do to encourage, value, and promote diversity?
Teachers must provide students with an environment that is conducive to learning. If a student feels uncomfortable, unsafe, or not respected, then their chances of success in that class dramatically decrease. Also, as our society becomes more diverse, it is important that students learn to value and use diversity to the greater good. Teachers already have a number of roles in the classroom; yet, valuing diversity is one of the most important ones a teacher must fill. Below is a list of just a few things that teachers can do to create an environment where each student feels valued and respected.