Journal Entry #18 – Diversity and Understanding

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulroZ4zikX8

I realize this video has nothing to do with my I-Search but I couldn’t pass up talking about the educative experience that I felt is embedded within this video.

In the video an Aboriginal girl from Australia has the courage to stand in the middle of a busy Australian beach and put her faith in the people around her. She holds a sign that says “I trust you, do you trust me? Let’s hug.” Many people take a look at her and her sign and pass her by, but then person after person stops and gives the girl a hug. Her message and purpose are both simple and harmless but it still appears that some people are either afraid or hesitant to hug the lone girl. The video ends by saying that only 13% of Australians polled claimed that they could trust Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

This video really made me think about the diversity that surrounds us everywhere we go. In the classroom, on the street, at the grocery store, on the bus – diversity is everywhere. I couldn’t help but think about how some people fear those who are different from them and view diversity as a bad thing. Then my thoughts shifted to how I would address diversity within my classroom when I become a teacher and how I could make the classroom an inviting and comfortable space for my students no matter what their ethnic, religious or family background.

In my current work I work with students from various schools and the population of students is quite diverse. So I thought, what are some of the things I have done so far to make these children feel like they are important and that they belong. I try to be an ally and a positive role model for these children by making everyone feel equal no matter what. Some of the ways I have done this is by giving everyone the same opportunities and support. I think modelling is one of the more effective ways to make students aware of how similar they are despite any visible differences. I try to treat each child with the same respect and understanding to demonstrate that they are all important.

I feel like when I have my own classroom I would try to employ some of the same practices and hopefully learn more along the way. I think the video was educative because it demonstrates how we are all human and that despite our differences we need to try and trust one another. This carries over into the classroom because I think much of that trust in others is learned or broken at an early age. If we teach children to trust an respect one another, hopefully those lessons will resonate for a long time and help build each other up instead of tearing each other down.

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