How to build a positive social identity among multicultural students
While most teachers understand the role of identity safety for classroom well-being, just a few are ready to put its principles into practice. It's not a matter of willingness but skills to acknowledge a student's identity. For some educators, it's a challenge to build a social interaction in the classroom, based on trusting relationships. With high expectations set, teachers stumble at the lack of practical activities that would help them build the foundation for positive attitude of students towards their social identities.
Interaction is what matters and motivates students thus far. These are milestones for each educator to break through while nurturing mentees so they would feel welcomed and valued in identity safe classrooms.
Initial contacts a teacher makes to build trust with each mentee
Once a student arrives in the classroom, a mentor needs to come up with greetings that would show a positive attitude together with high expectations there will be a productive day for all of them. What matters here is the ways a teacher chooses to create an atmosphere of healthy competitiveness.
Listening to each mentee's voice
In identity safe classrooms, teachers use best endeavors to understand the internality of every student. Considering that most mentees come from different backgrounds with different experiences, a mentor needs to listen to each student with empathy and care, as well as observe their speaking patterns to determine their social identity. For a teacher, it's essential to encourage mentees to share their vision irrespective of the identity.
With two students in mind, – one who's ahead and one who's behind the others – a teacher could come up with practices to group mentees so they would help each other build the sense of academic and social competence. Working together, they will learn more and grow communication skills.
Meeting the academic needs of every student
When a teacher communicates high expectations to students at different skill levels, it becomes a challenge to meet them. If it failed, students often lose motivation to study and turn to various staff that contradicts the academic integrity, write my essay services among many. Educators need to concentrate on learning tasks that could involve all mentees regardless of their initial skill level: whether it's reading, essay writing, or speaking, students should be able to work together on the task and feel like supported members of the learning community. It leads to the following milestone.
The focus on cooperation and collaboration
Reflecting on own experiences they got from family and schools, teachers can think of incorporating the most effective cooperation strategies into their identity safe classroom. But it's crucial to get a new angle on it, thinking of the peculiarities of each student and different perspectives they might have on collaboration. Also, engaged mentors should focus on how they respond to differences in school and student family expectations on cooperation.
This can be a resource for teaching the identity safe classroom if a mentor continually works on growing emotional intelligence and reflects on own attitudes and identities. The challenge here is to build a sense of team in the class of racial, ethnic, and gender diversity and make them work together but yet validate their differences.
Critical thinking and reflecting themselves in the curriculum can help students learn the value of multiple perspectives. A teacher's role here is to come up with activities that would allow mentees to critically analyse historical and current events, respect the opinions of their classmates even if diverge, and learn about global perspectives. Students need to identify themselves with role models from the curriculum, drawn both from real life and formal content of history or literature.
Practicing each student's physical and emotional comfort in the classroom.
Organizing a classroom environment for comfortable learning, a teacher builds each student's self-identification and confidence. Walls designed with student art, writings, and photos; inspiring quotes of role models from different ethnicities and cultures; classroom furniture adjusted to each student's needs and physical peculiarities – this is a minimum contributing to the positive atmosphere in identity safety classrooms.
The presuppositions from a teacher play a critical part, too. Negative phrases such as "You better study, or you'll fail," "You don't know English well, so here's an easier book for you," and others of this kind not only demotivate students but also make them feel Chinese Walls to success in the classroom. Even if said well-intentioned, such presuppositions hardly work on building positive social identity among multicultural students.