5-step action plan for social inclusion, understanding, and respect
5- Step Action Plan
Step 1: Embrace Diversity To Break The Cultural Barrier
Who: Embracing diversity is the responsibility of the whole school including administration, teachers, students and parents.
What: Embracing diversity means to acknowledge that everyone comes from a different background. This could mean students from different Arabic countries with different cultures and students that come from non-Arab countries.
Where: This will take place all over the school.
When: This is something that will happen all year round, every year as we are a multicultural school.
Why: This step is very important as it ensures inclusiveness and an understanding of the importance of everyone’s unique background.
How: There are many way this can be done. In a classroom setting, students can talk about their own countries or background either during show and tell for younger students or by doing a more sophisticated presentation for older students. As a school, we currently celebrate International Day where everyone in the school including teachers shows off their culture. It is a big event that parents and friends are invited to. International day includes stands with food from all over the world as well as shows with cultural dancing and music.
Step 2: Build A Positive And Inclusive Environment
Who: The teacher can begin the process in the classroom and later it can include students
What: Building a positive environment means creating a positive, safe and a judgment free environment.
Where: In the classroom.
When: This needs to be established starting from the beginning of the year and all throughout the year.
Why: It is important that students who are not native speakers feel comfortable communicating in English even though they are not fluent. They need to feel confident enough to make mistakes so they can learn.
How: The teacher needs to build trust and make sure that everyone understands that with any new information there is a learning process that happens. This can be shared with the students in order to create awareness that everyone has their own learning process to go through. The teacher can also educate students on what it looks like to be in a supportive and inclusive environment.
Step 3: Work On Language Expansion In A Positive Environment
Who: This will be carried out by the teacher.
What: Language expansion happens when students are encouraged to express themselves and when accurate language is being modeled all in a safe and judgment free environment.
Where: This will be done in the classroom.
When: Anytime there is teacher student interaction.
Why: In order to promote language acquisition students need to be encouraged to communicate as much as possible.
How: Language expansion can be encouraged in the following ways: retelling stories, sharing personal stories, having students narrate what they’re doing during an activity and finally by writing. It is important to mention that accurate language needs to be modeled by the teacher during this process. For example, when a student says something incorrectly the teacher can comment by repeating what the student said correctly. The teacher should never stop the student and point out the error but instead he or she can model it and then ask the student to try saying it the same way. Once a student becomes more independent one strategy to try is when a student misses a key word in a sentence such as “the” or “a” then you can tell the student “Oh, I think you forgot something. Let’s try again. “ This will give them the opportunity to rethink their sentence and try again.
Step 4: Make Sure Students Receive ESL Services
Who: The teacher refers the student and the ESL department offers these services.
What: In addition to support in the classroom, students should receive ESL services.
Where: ESL department.
When: This is a pullout program that can be done during reading and writing workshops so students can get more individualized instruction.
Why: ESL services will supplement the learning that happens in the classroom. Students get the opportunity to receive instruction in a small group or one-on-one setting. Lessons will also be targeted based on their needs and level.
How: ESL services are typically offered by pulling out students from the classroom. ESL students will receive these services during class time. ESL teachers will work with students on building vocabulary, practicing reading and writing skills, and gaining confidence in communicating in English.
Step 5: Create Activities That Promote Group Work
Who: The teacher
What: Students should always have an opportunity to do group work. This could be a small activity or a big project that forces students to communicate, plan and execute the project together.
Where: This can be done in the classroom.
When: Anytime where an activity is needed as an extension to learning.
Why: Giving students the opportunity to work together will encourage them to socialize with one another, practice their communication skills and ELL students will get the opportunity to learn from their peers.
How: Teachers can create activities for their students whenever an activity can enhance learning. This can be done by working on a science project or by building a structure together. One other way is grouping students based on their level in reading and have each group read books related to a certain topic. Students will then collect information on that topic and share what they have learned with the class.
The main goal for this action plan is to create a classroom that is socially inclusive and fosters understand and mutual respect. In any classroom this will be an ongoing process. If challenges are faced during any of these steps, I will re-evaluate the plan and find a more suitable solution. Like anything in a classroom, nothing is set in stone; therefore changes can be made in the plan to ensure that all students are part of an inclusive environment. Student progress should be tracked all through out the year and any gaps should be identified and dealt with accordingly as they happen. Teachers and other educators involved in the student’s learning can look at academic, social and emotional progress. Another way to assess the plan is to encourage parent involvement and work with parents to make sure that students are also being supported at home. Materials and resources can be shared with parents so they can work with the student at home. Finally, parents can offer valuable feedback on how the student is managing and whether the teacher needs to do more to support the student.
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