Do you ever grasp all the exceptionalities that exhibit in your classroom? Such as: gender, poverty, cultural diversity, and gifted and talented/special education. Each play an extravagant role in your classroom. Having these exceptionalities will make you change your teaching ways in a positive way. My objective is to tell and show you all the crucial factors when trying to help these students strive and leave no stone unturned. When dealing with gender diversity in your classroom, there are many things to consider. One being differences between the male and female gender. This could be their developmentation.
Females tend to develop faster than males, which can then lead males to be a year behind females, making them more objective to being held back. Stereotype states that girls tend to be less assertive, and generally are extroverted, trusting, and anxious, while boys are active, and have a hard time staying in their seat. This can be caused by how teachers and parents talk towards the child. For example, if a parent talks to her daughter and is strict with her, and tells the girl that she needs to act, and be a certain way. But, on the other hand towards a boy the parent says: “boys can be boys” and allows him to act rambunctious. This can make girls more self-conscious, as well as making boys feel like they can do and say whatever they want. This may not apply to every child. There are many things you can do to ensure that each gender is treated equally in your classroom. For instance, paying attention to how often you’re calling on each gender, and treating both genders the same way.
Another important consideration, is designing your classroom where the gender is mixed in seating. Giving students an opportunity to work with the opposite gender, and showing their ability to succeed is important for each to feel success. Doing this will assure you that you are giving every student the same opportunity to thrive. While some teachers may not pay attention to gender in their school, specific genders may be feeling more pressure put on them when it comes to disciplinary actions. For example, in the classroom with a male teacher a male student may be messing around and not working, but the teacher allows this because it’s just what boys do. On the other hand, if a female does the same thing, then it’s not proper and she gets yelled at. Going along with the same example: in a female’s classroom the teacher doesn’t allow the male to act that way, nor the female. But when it comes to classwork the teacher expects more from the female than the male. Both of these examples show that discipline is more heavily set on females, because teachers expect more of them because of stereotyping. While, they believe that male students can’t always calm down or stay focused. This may not apply to every student, teacher, or situation. This is when same-sex classrooms/schools come into play.
There are many pros and cons of both sides. Some pros being: one gender takes away the distraction, breaks down stereotypes, teachers can employ instruction techniques geared toward specific genders, and girls can mature faster, so potentially boys won’t hold them back. There are also many cons of a same-sex classroom. Such as: “Studies are inconclusive about how helpful separating gender is. Eventually, it could be hard to students to assimilate into “mixed gender” society. Many teachers may not have the training to employ gender-specific teaching techniques. Boys mature slower, so potentially girls won’t positively influence them”. Though there is no definite answer whether same-sex school is more beneficial, society is always changing, and so will it.
Poverty in a student’s life can dramatically affect the way students learn, and how involved they are at school. But poverty doesn’t only affect students, it also affects the school’s socioeconomic status. Which predicts how well a school is doing through their progress, the amount of dropouts, and suspensions. If, a school has low SES (socioeconomic status) than they are more prone to falling below basic levels. This is because students cannot focus in school, because they are more worried about the psychological needs. This could lead to students being more dependent on their school when it comes to food, and health (from the nurse. ) Government believes that there are levels of poverty and are based on income, and are affected by the cost of living. Having students who have a high SES may not have to worry about psychological needs as much as low SES students. This may be from their parents being more active and commutative in their lives, so they have an idea of what’s happening. With students in poverty no matter what level, they will need some assistance. “15% of the population, 43. 2 million Americans, live in poverty”. The mind of a student who lives in poverty compared to a student who isn’t, is completely different. A student in poverty is worrying about health, experience emotional and social instability, and most likely lives in an unstable environment. As we know, teachers/schools cannot fix this, but they can help the situation. For example, the school providing the students free/reduced lunch can most likely guarantee that the student has breakfast/lunch each day. The student also knowing that a nurse is there can be great help, because they can’t afford to see a doctor, or have insurance.
When it comes to emotional and social instability in a student’s life a teacher being there to cheer them on, be positive, and to give them their trust always can make impact. Sometimes work in the classroom may be too difficult for a student to understand. That’s when the teacher can provide an alternate assignment for the student that may be more clear/easier, and also giving more support to them. Culture Diversity in the classroom has grown immensely since segregation has ended. And today still we are struggling with allowing everyone to feel fit in. Could this be because schools may have one certain race more than the others? Or is it because teacher’s may rely on ethnic stereotypes when teaching? To overcome this, teachers should know their students academically, and should teach about different culture events/history, but also show that there is no superior race or way of living. When students come to America they are expected to speak English in school, but they may be more reluctant towards this because it’s like dropping your own culture. Schools could be developed, where there are specialized classes from students who don’t speak English or whom are learning. Giving students the resources they need can impact how well they develop as a student. Assimilation is about taking in new ideas socially and trying to understand them fully, while developing a certain behavior. The plan was that Americans would help the immigrants become American. The idea of it seemed like it would work. But once into play it didn’t, immigrants still stuck to their culture. Eventually, everyone went back to their normal lifestyle, and the community didn’t do anything to stop it. Today’s society may not completely understand the concept of equality of culture. But teaching about cultures and giving students the confidence they need could shape that.
A gifted and talented student could be defined as someone who performs at a higher capability than other students. One who may be smarter in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership capacity, or specific academic fields, and who require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop such capabilities. ” They can normally be determined by looking at how well their memory is, and how they do in school subjects: such as math and reading. But also looking at how much they know about the world still as a child. School may be easy for these students academically, but if they are bored in school, this could cause them to stop paying attention. Teachers should provide them more difficult work that matches their level, but also encouraging them to keep learning. For example, if a classroom were to have everyone read the same book, and write a paper on it, that book may be too easy for a gifted child. In return, they should be given a book that discusses the same content, but is way more advanced. Teachers should also give the student opportunities where he/she could work with students up at their level. The students who need assistance to strive are not just gifted and talented students, but also student with disabilities. The four main disabilities being: hearing: having to use different methods of communication/impairments, learning/cognitive: perception and processing information, motor: physical disabilities, and visual: possess varying levels of sight disabilities.
IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) was developed in 1975, where the government allowed children with disabilities to have an appropriate public education that addresses their individual needs. Students with disabilities can be identified how they do in their academics, how they participate (if they are distracted or can’t follow directions), and their social capabilities, or by taking a IEP (individualized education program). A student who has disabilities, parent can work with a team of educators to help the student learn and succeed. IEP meetings are set with the parents, where they talk about goals, the student’s positive aspects, as well as the areas they struggle in. Teachers should be wary on how they teach. For example: if a student can’t focus, the teacher could give that student something to fidget with. Another example may be, if a student doesn’t understand material or can’t solve as many problems as the other students he/she should be given direct directions, along with exception on how many problems they have to do. Though there may be alternate ways to help the student, you should discuss this during IEP meetings.
Since you have learned about all of the exceptionalities in the classroom would you change your teaching? Did you realize how much of it can affect students lives? Such as gender, poverty, cultural diversity and, gifted and talented/special education. Just by observing a classroom you can watch some/all of these exceptionalities take place. A parent, educator, student, or just a normal individual has the capability to affect a student’s life positively, all you need to do is get involved.
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