Welcome to a new school year! By now your students are getting to know each other pretty well, and you have laid the foundation for your classroom culture. Part of creating an inclusive and supportive classroom community is to understand and value students’ identities.
Every person has layers that make up their personal identity. Norton describes identity as “how a person understands his or her relationship to the world, how that relationship is constructed across time and space, and how the person understands possibilities for the future.” Identity is made up of a person’s experiences, memories, values and beliefs, culture(s), and language(s).
When educators embrace all the facets of all the students’ identities it creates the equitable and supportive environment where learning thrives. When multi-cultural multi-lingual students come to school and feel like they have to leave parts of themselves at the classroom door to fit in, it creates a dissonance that translates internally into who they are and what they can become.
The Project GLAD® strategy Extended Name Tag is an activity you can do to build cross-cultural respect in your classroom. It provides a springboard for rich conversations between students to identify similarities and differences.
Extended Name Tag
Think about prompts that go beyond favorite color and favorite food
Have fun getting to know your students and celebrating them for the beautiful mosaics they are! Thanks for reading!
Jody & Sara