How is your perspective regarding families and working with families is shifting and changing?
My perspective regarding families and working with families is shifting and changing in different ways. Earlier, I thought that families are only viewed based on the structure and the composition of its members. However, with the increased immigration of different people from various nationalities to the U.S., I now have learned that the perspectives of families and working with families cannot be based only on the structure. I am more aware that race, ethnicity and other factors contribute to changing and shifting the perspective of families and especially when working with families from different backgrounds. Different families speak varying languages, are of a diverse race, socio-economic and religious backgrounds. These factors have contributed to my shifting and changing perspective when working with families from different backgrounds. Race and ethnicity among other factors have created different classes of families in the society including those coming from the dominant and minority groups (Caver & Williams, 2011).
What assumptions or biases that you hold are emerging?
The assumptions that I hold and are emerging entail the view that the strength of a family and the different ideas that children have are based on their families rituals and cultural background. Every functional family practices a specific culture and rituals that dominate its generation. The rituals and cultures of families have a symbolic connotation and define the behaviors of the children as well as the activities they engage in. They are practiced in families and define the family strength as well as helping the children in learning different ideas about life. Rituals and ceremonies held by families are usually effective methods of promoting the health and well-being of a family (Raising Children Network, 2017). In an education setting, every child will demonstrate different ideas that they have based on their culture and family rituals that conserve the paradigm of their families, store and present the identity for each family from one generation to another.
How are you thinking in new ways regarding working with families from diverse backgrounds?
The society is diverse today, and as a teacher, I need to realize the need for a non-bias and culturally sensitive perspective when working with families from diverse backgrounds. Today, families are viewed based on race and ethnicity among other factors. Embracing diversity is unifying factor when working with families irrespective of their cultural background (Eliason & Jenkins, 2012). Therefore, the new ways that I am thinking regarding working with families from diverse backgrounds are by being more meaningful in every aspect of interaction irrespective of their social, economic, region and cultural affiliation. I am thinking of the importance of displaying positive attitudes, developing social values that are clear and becoming a role model for how I treat others when working with families from diverse backgrounds. I think I have a responsibility to train these families on the need to understand and accept diversity. It will be a good thing that the children and their families will learn so as to respect each other despite their cultural differences.
How will you use the knowledge and experiences you are gaining in this course as you work in a classroom with young diverse learners and their families.
When working in a classroom with young diverse learners and their families, I will use the knowledge and experience that I am gaining in this course to embrace diversity. Usually, teachers tend to marginalize children and their families based the experiences they have with them (Namrata, 2011). However, this is something that I will work to avoid when working in a classroom with young diverse learners and their families. I will use the knowledge and experiences gained in this course to train the children and their families the importance of understanding the world from different cultural views. I will train the young diverse learners on how to respect others while creating a confident self-identity of their culture. In this case, I will be less bias and judgmental with different families' and children's' situations. I will work to ensure that each child and family have a sense of belonging to the society by valuing their culture and that of others as well. The knowledge and experiences that I have gained in this course will form the basis for training and associate with the young learners and their families by encouraging them to handle others with kindness, and be open-minded to others from different family structures, religions, cultures, and traditions.
How do the readings relate to your own family experiences and/or the experiences of the families you work with each day?
The readings relate to my own family experiences. I am now studying and living in the U.S. However, I come from a different nationality. My family migrated from our country to the U.S. in transitions. My father was the first to come to America to work and care for the family. He helped the other family members migrate to the U.S. after obtaining the required legal documents for everyone. As immigrants to the U.S., my family lives to embrace our cultural values learned since childhood from our country. In fact, my culture defines my identity as a person. It is something that I cannot change and it helps me realize the differences I have with others from different cultural backgrounds. Our family traditions have not changed because we are in a foreign country and these ritual behaviors keep the family strong.
Raising Children Network. (2017). Family rituals: what are they? Retrieved from http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/rituals_and_how_they_work.html
Caver, H., & Williams, M. (2011). Countries and their Cultures. Creoles. Retrieved from http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Bu-Dr/Creoles.html
Eliason, C., & Jenkins, L. (2012). A practical guide to early childhood curriculum. 9th Edition. Pearson.
Namrata. (2011). Teachers' beliefs and expectations towards marginalized children in a classroom setting: A qualitative analysis. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15; 850-853
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