Spirit of Bradford
In our increasingly diverse and multicultural society, it’s more important than ever for teachers to incorporate culturally responsive instruction in the classroom. At Bradford, we ensure that both our classroom environment and our curriculum are responsive to increasing cultural diversity of our society. The strategies below are used in Upper School to encourage cultural awareness in our school.
Staff get to know our students. Our staff takes the time to learn about each of their students - their interests, their background, their hobbies, etc. This shows our students the staff have a genuine interest in getting to know them as a person. While getting to know our students we acknowledge and respect every one of them.
We practice cultural sensitivity. We encourage our students to celebrate and respect their own diverse backgrounds. We have school-wide celebrations for Hispanic Heritage Month, Black History Month, Women’s History Month just to name a few. Recognizing these heritages lets our students know our school is a safe space for discussion to promote a better understanding of each heritage.
We incorporate diversity in our lesson plans. Our teachers look at whose story they are telling. We work with our teachers to make sure they are using a wide range of voices in their lessons. Teachers spotlight various cultures from around the world in their lesson plans. They discuss the cultural identities of Africans, Chinese, Mexicans, Asians, Native Americans, Russians, etc. by reading poems, novels, and autobiographies about and by people from these backgrounds and by studying the history of people from these areas. Teachers study global tapestries in social studies classes and go beyond by studying primary sources from those cultures.
Diversity helps improve social skills and critical thinking skills. By incorporating these strategies, we are helping our students to gain a better understanding of other people. Our students become more open-minded by being exposed to other cultures. These actions help our students feel more confident and safer at school. This allows them to interact with others who are different from them and to feel more confident in themselves. Teaching our students about diversity and cultural awareness better prepares them for the workplace. Diversity in the classroom helps our students to be better thinkers; it challenges students to consider different perspectives than what they have been taught.