Practical Helps for Teachers for Culturally Responsive Teaching

Every school may have a different grading scale. It is up to you to adjust to the grading scale of the school where you teach. If 50 is acceptable in your country and the school says anything below a 70 is failing, you will need to adjust your grading and your expectations. Most schools will let you know what their grading scale is in the general orientation to the school.

Most of the TCK schools teach in English. But there are several variations on how to spell words, and you are expected to teach your children the spelling rules followed by the school. Some schools may let each child spell according to the spellings in their “home” culture.

Parent Expectations
Expect differences in this area. Parents care about their children’s education, but how that is demonstrated will be different depending on the parents’ cultures and personality. Some parents will want to know everything; some may feel that children learn responsibility by not having someone looking over their shoulder. In your interactions with parents, just be sensitive that they may have different expectations than you have and try to find out what they are.

Background Information
The children in your classroom will have had very different experiences than other children you may have taught. Some will not have learned English until preschool or later, some will have spent most of their time in a village, possibly without some of the conveniences that you and I are used to. And that all plays into how they do in school. If a child has grown up in the tropics and he come across a question about snow, he may have no idea how to answer the question. You may have to do more pre-teaching on a subject than you are used to. Some children may be in a classroom setting for the first time due to a variety of reasons. But rather than just seeing the need to teach them more than you would normally have to, see it as an opportunity to learn from your students as well.

Teaching/Style Differences
Teachers from various countries teach differently, some of it is a result of personality and some of it may be a result of the culture. Some teachers are used to doing a lot of interactive class activities; others may be more used to using lectures. Some may never raise their voice and other teachers may be used to yelling at the children and using a ruler to get their attention. As a result, the students who come to your class bring certain habits and expectations of how you will teach, and they may not learn quite the way you expected them to.

Use Available Resources
Guest speakers can provide the teacher with one of his most valuable resources. You will have access to people in your community with a wide variety of vocations and experiences. You are encouraged to seek those people who will provide enrichments to the children in your classroom. One caution is to know your guest speaker well and know what is going to be presented. We want to give children the best, so we need to do our homework ahead of time.