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7 Tips for Talking About Diversity
Schools across the country are purposefully incorporating diversity education into their classrooms. As students learn about the inclusion of cultures, groups, disabilities, and most importantly, empathy for others, you may have parents wondering how they can continue the conversation at home. Here are 7 tips that you can send to parents:
Mirror behaviors you wish to see.
Model how to be accepting of all people through small interactions, like saying hello and pronouncing names correctly, and larger interactions, such as including everyone in social events.
Step outside of your comfort zone.
For some, talking about diversity and oppression can be uncomfortable. Developing open communication and being available to answer questions significantly impacts your child’s ability to celebrate differences and recognize racism.
Read about people who aren’t like you.
Check out books (or e-books) from your local library that expose your children to different races, religions, and groups.
Be an upstander (not a bystander).
Point out bad behavior while teaching your child about empathy. How would they feel if someone treated them poorly?
Eliminate traditions rooted in racism.
Even some children’s songs from your youth, such as “Ten Little Indians,” are now recognized as inherently racist. Talk to your child about this progression of views over time.
When children recognize that someone has a disability, they may shy away or see them as too different to befriend. Help them recognize what is meant by “seeing past someone’s disability.”
Recognize that your child is still learning.
If they make a derogatory statement or act in a discriminatory way, avoid shaming. Instead, talk it out and look for the life lesson.
Download a pdf version you can send to colleagues or parents directly >
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Note: Fresh Ideas for Teaching blog contributors have been compensated for sharing personal teaching experiences on our blog. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.