Classroom Community and Diversity

 Importance of Classroom Community

Just like every community, each classroom has its own distinct culture, values, and rules. Community in the classroom provides students with a cultural experience that connects them to their peers and to others. A classroom community changes each year as the kids change because the community is based on the interests, values, needs, culture, and goals of all its members. Essentially, the classroom community creates a personalized environment for the students and the teachers. A classroom community helps a teacher to address the social, emotional, and cognitive development of each student. This is important in an age where children are spending more time in front of the TV or video games and less time developing social skills and learning how to live and work cooperatively with others. The opportunity to participate in a community addresses the basic needs of a student; it increases a child’s sense of well being and exposes them to positive values, respect, responsibility. When the basic needs of children are met they will be more accepting to learning and will be able to reach their full potential. Overall, a classroom community aims to remove the stresses of an everyday classroom. When students enter an environment where the goal is to build each other up, friendships are promoted, and where positive values and rules are promoted and enforced, learning comes quickly and easily.

Ways to Build Community

Ultimately, the essential element to creating a sense of community in your classroom is YOU! It is not the number of toys and materials or the size of your space that really counts. It is your loving, compassionate attitude towards the children in your classroom family that creates a joyful community.

Diversity and Community

Children develop their identity and attitudes through experiences with their bodies, social environments, and their cognitive developmental stages. As these three factors interact, young children progress through certain stages of racial and cultural awareness. After age 9, racial attitudes tend to stay the same unless the child has a life-changing experience. Before that, however, we have a good chance to help children develop positive feelings about their racial and cultural identity.

10 Best Classroom Community Practices

This section provides a list of 10 practices teachers can use in the classroom to help build community.

Classroom Community Resources

This section provides different resources that can be used in the classroom, from websites to children's books.

Classroom Community Wisdom

This section includes advice from professors, and student teachers about building classroom community and the importance of implementing it in the classroom setting. Each professor has taught in a school for several years prior to working at the university level, making them well versed and experienced on the topic of classroom community.

How to Build Community

Most of the suggestions in this section have been taken from Ten Ways To Build Community in Your Classroom by Rabbi Shamuel Jablon. However, some have been added from other sources. The following suggestions are divided according to the time each should be completed.

Classroom Meetings

Meetings in the early childhood classroom are used for many different purposes. They are used throughout the day for various situations. Meetings provide the opportunity to build student relationships, promote classroom community, and share information about the classroom. Meetings should be meaningful, interactive, and fun.