Paying attention to equity in classroom is something that should be looked into in order to promote an inclusive environment. Classrooms need to make sure that all students get the same opportunities for learning, regardless of age, race, gender identity, or presentation. Here are 10 Tips to Promote Equity in Classroom.
Be Aware Of How You Emphasize Teaching Goals
We emphasize the importance of certain teaching goals based on what we think is important or exclusive, and this can rub up against children who don’t feel that way. For example, if someone’s only goal is to demonstrate skills in reading fluency and comprehension by using books with infrequent words, they may not be demonstrating these skills when using a book about an Indian family for young readers.
Listen To The Child in Charge
If you are aware that one child may feel the need to teach a skill on a certain topic, give them full autonomy over using the skill and its materials. For example, if someone feels strongly about teaching about robotics by displaying an electric transformer, give them complete autonomy over what they showcase and how they showcase it. This way, you are giving all students control over their learning environment and providing more of a challenge for all students.
Take Time For One-on-One Coaching
You can easily model equity by showing that you care about every child in your classroom. Take time to work individually with each student. This way, you are showing the children that they have a voice and a role in the classroom and giving them more opportunities to come out on top.
Watch For Low-Level Gains
It’s important to make sure every child in your classroom is getting some work done so that everyone gains from one another. Everyone needs to build on their own strengths, build on low-level gains, and use these to springboard into higher levels of learning. This can be done by recognizing the strength in which you see kids working independently and how that compares with the strength of another child’s independent work.
Communicate Expectations Clearly
One way to promote equity is by making sure that it’s always clear what the children are supposed to be doing, so there are no surprises. For example, if someone needs to use their math skills for a specific assignment. Make sure their teacher explicitly tells them this and that they need to use math on a certain level. Here are tips for teachers to make math a fun subject for students.
If you have a child who struggles with using spatial relationships in his work, make sure he knows that this is something he’ll need to work on before moving on.
Guide, Don’t Direct
Many teachers make the mistake of telling children what to do and how to do it. Instead of getting them to work independently and giving them space to explore their own ideas, many teachers like to give too many directions. This puts unnecessary pressure on children and can be demotivating for them when they never seem to be able to get it right.
Rather than telling kids what to do or how to give staff a space where they can express themselves, and the kids can take direction from them. You should be guiding the kids so that they know that you stand behind their learning process as well as your expectations for it.
Create Positive Reward Systems
In a classroom where children are expected to work independently, it’s important to make sure that every child feels as if they have some control over their experience of being in school. One way to do this is by creating positive reward systems so that each child gets something for working well independently without micromanaging the progress of your students.
Use Data to Identify Needs
Data is one of the greatest things about technology. You can use data to discover how well your students are doing in a certain area and which students are excelling at that skill so that you can provide more help and challenge for them. For example, if you notice that a child is working on their own at a higher level than they usually do, you can offer them more help and resources.
If one child is struggling with using spatial relationships in their work, you can go back and give him another lesson on how to use them to solve problems.
Encourage the Best Work
There are ways to encourage students to excel. In many ways, students learn how to do this on their own, but there are other opportunities for you as a teacher to help them out. For example, if you notice that a student is working on their own at a higher level than the rest of their peers, you can acknowledge and reward that work by creating a special forum where they can share what they’ve learned with others. This way, they feel as if they have worked hard on something and have been recognized for it.
Work Towards High Standards
There is a system at work here: high standards foster equity. Everyone is working towards the same goal, and children are given autonomy over the methods they choose to get there. By making changes to your teaching practices and focusing on equity, you can create a classroom where everyone can excel in their own way without feeling as if they’re being left out or are less of a contributor than other children.
Equality of opportunity must exist for everyone in order for a group of people to function well internally. If a certain group is not receiving the same opportunities as another, there are bound to be problems that affect the well-being of the whole. Creating equity within your classroom and classroom community — whether you are teaching in a public school or private setting — is important to instill a sense of belonging among all students and allow children from different backgrounds to learn from one another through their differences.
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