Creating an inclusive learning environment
1.1. Engaging and supporting newcomer/migrant students.
Researchers suggest the following strategies to create an inclusive learning environment:
- Get to know your students and help them get to know one another
- Work together as a school staff to make the school welcoming for all students and their parents. This may include having a plan for welcoming families and involving all staff in the orientation of newcomers.
- Become aware of the strengths and needs of new students and their families. This may include access to counseling, including trauma counseling, to facilitate student adjustment
- Reflect the linguistic and cultural diversity of all students in such things as displays, artifacts, posters, pictures, music, games, storybooks, multimedia resources. Ensure that resources used in the classroom show a diversity of people, cultures and perspectives.
- Use resources within the school and community. This may include using interpreters and cultural brokers to bridge linguistic and cultural barriers to communication.
- Provide opportunities for family and community members to become involved in school activities. This may include parents serving as school helpers as well as providing them with opportunities to share cultural knowledge and experiences with students in the classroom in their home language and language of the school.
- Create multi-lingual newsletters, websites, handbooks and resources for parents in order to keep them informed about their child's education and events in the school.
- Provide learning experiences such as fieldtrips to places where students and their families can learn about their own culture and history and that of others.
- Learn and use key words and phrases in the first language of the students
- Use a range of teaching strategies that meet the needs of individual students (e.g., individualized teaching, collaborative learning activities, and peer mentoring)
- Use resources that reflect students' cultures. This may include using heterogeneous groupings in the classroom, ensuring that students have ample opportunities to express themselves and demonstrate their learning in multiple ways, and e
- Establish safe places in the school for students. This may include prayer rooms for religious minorities or diversity clubs.
- Provide professional learning opportunities for teachers and parents
- Nurture links with the community
- Ensure all students are valued and respected and that discrimination is effectively and quickly addressed
- Reflect on one's own bias and belief systems
- Be a positive role model
View these YouTube videos to explore strategies for making migrant/newcomer students feel welcome in their new school and for supporting their social and academic success.
Reflection: After viewing the videos, reflect on the following:
Which of the strategies discussed in the videos will you try in your own classroom to engage and support students?