Vaughan M. Blaney
TEFLA, BSc, BEd, MEd
With each passing day, as our global community gets smaller and smaller, our schools are filled with a greater diverse student population. As such, teachers take it upon themselves to gain an understanding of all their children’s unique academic, emotional, and cultural differences in order to help them on their life journeys. To support a culturally sensitive learning community, teachers attempt to design and teach lessons that address all students’ academic needs, learning styles, and multiple intelligences.
With respect to diversity - one area we often forget to be sensitive to is a specific child's home life. What living environment is a specific child going home to every day after school. This must be considered by the teacher in his or her interactions with the child and the child's family. It is here where we see the importance of a close professional relationship between the teacher and the family. I have always been very sensitive to this issue. As a school principal I would always insist that my teachers be well-aware of a child's home life before any phone call was made to a parent or guardian - 'Could that call in anyway cause greater hardship or distress for the child and or family than was truly warranted?'
I was reminded of the very different home lives that students have through AmMetLife's incredibly powerful video: