With the way things are in our world lately, this could be a much larger topic: acceptance. I’ll steer away from “love one another” and just focus on acceptance within schools. I am sure that many teachers are accepting and not one teacher would jump to the conclusion that any colleague isn’t. Sometimes it’s the things we may not think of that could elude true acceptance. For instance, from Melissa Eddington’s blog, a breakout session at the Ohio Innovative Learning Environments Conference focused on acceptance and non-traditional families. I was thrilled to see that a speaker, Shawn Mickens, touched on adjusting assignment timelines; One size doesn’t fit all, even in the classroom! Teachers should be advocates in learning and knowing more themselves. And, hallelujah, even delving into books for diversity! We have gotten caught up in teaching to the norm. Some schools are anti-holiday because Eid Al-Fitr, Hanukkah, or Christmas references may offend someone. Doesn’t it show acceptance if you focus on diversity and show that acceptance by highlighting multiple cultures & diverse families?
Now I understand what you may be thinking; there are these standard thingys!! I have no time! Yea, maybe, but consider your book choices and even book recommendations. Look around your room and see if there’s diversity in your decor. If it’s reflected in your students, start there! What a better floor for acceptance and understanding than having students feel welcome to share about their own lives.
This may break into your uncomfortable zone, but here are some books I like that highlight non-traditional situations & families: