Teaching kindergarten in Arizona some of my lessons may look a little bit different than in other parts of the country or world. Some of the lessons that will do will showcase the diversity of our community. These lessons of course age-appropriate for five and six-year-olds. On the local scale we will cover such topics as the the original inhabitants of Arizona, Native Americans. On the national level we have an in depth unit about famous US leaders in diversity like Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks, as these are part of our standards. The last two years I taught this unit it was especially interesting how my students curiosity was peaked by this topic. This year in particular I was struck by a revelation one of my students had who has a different skin color than one of their parents. On a global scale we include a unit and famous explorers and their impact on discovering other cultures. In my current classroom their students have all different backgrounds just like my previous classroom and I’m sure my classrooms to come in the future. Students will be given opportunities to reflect on how their cultures as well as how others cultures are as important for us to appreciate as well as this is something they will encounter in their future years of education.
For some students this may be their first opportunity to be in a structured classroom setting interacting with peers of all different backgrounds while others may have been in preschool since they were young and been around many children that either look the same or possibly different than them. Through the unfiltered lens and the young perspective of kindergarten eyes it is interesting to understand their perspective on different cultures and races and backgrounds especially when new concepts spark their curiosity or intrigue them to asking more questions. It’s important to teach with a multicultural perspective since children are ever-changing and classrooms are becoming more diverse.
My hope for my students to develop cultural competence is more to be a kind individual who respects others. As my students are learning much different things we tend to keep things fairly simple. My other hope would be that my students become curious about these topics and want to learn more about other cultures as they are equally as important. Within Arizona kindergarten standards there are little to no specific information or ideas as how/ what to teach for students to be cultural competent. This leaves room for creativity, but also asks the question what is too much for their age and understand level.
Thank you for reading,