Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Post 9/11 Classroom--Embrace Diversity!

  1. How can I help my young Arab-American student?

--Don’t chastise the student if he unconsciously writes from left to right or if he has trouble reading from right to left.

--Don’t schedule tests on Muslim holidays since the student may be absent.

--Try not to schedule tests during Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar during which Muslims fast). Since Arabs fast during this time, the child may not function as well as when he is well-nourished.

--I was surprised when Mohammad first hugged me, however, I should refrain from initiating physical contact. If the Arab-American is male and the teacher female, he may be shy about touching or hugging her. “Some Muslim men, for religious reasons, avoid physical contact with women other than close relatives.”

--I need to search for books for the students that celebrate his and other cultures and try to discuss multiculturalism when I think about it. Hopefully, introducing multiculturalism into the curriculum is more than just lighting the Menorah at Christmas. I need to find ways to bring multiculturalism into the curriculum whenever it is feasible.

--Make sure there are no pork products in the cafeteria food. If so, have him eat lunch with me.

--Muslims pray six times a day. If the student needs to go to a quiet place to pray, let him.

--Since Mohammad’s first language is Arabic, I should demonstrate patience with him if he is having trouble with reading or with language comprehension.

...all rights be continued...

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