|It’s that time of year again. You know, the time when teachers (and sometimes politicians) debate the most appropriate ways to celebrate the holidays in the classroom. With the great diversity in public schools, it’s easy to see why the debate continues year after year.Given the fact that Canada’s population is becoming increasingly multicultural, chances are pretty good that some of your students are not celebrating Christmas at all, but in its place Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Lunar New Year or a host of other holidays. Canadian classrooms are set to become even more diverse in coming years. In fact, Statistics Canada projects that by 2031, 28% of the Canadian population will be foreign-born.|
Thankfully, in recent years educational initiatives surrounding culturally responsive classroom practices have been popping up across Canada, providing educators with resources for celebrating not only traditional Canadian holidays, but holidays around the globe. We’ve pulled together a few ideas for celebrating “the holidays” in your classroom. For complete guidelines and one-to-one instruction, find the program for culturally responsive instruction in your province.
Welcome educators by handing out monthly planners that can be used during the meeting to mark holidays that will be celebrated school-wide and to take notes. Some topics to consider during the meeting include:
Keep the conversation open after the meeting by placing a whiteboard tabletop display in a common area that acts as an open forum for staff to leave questions and write responses.
If you do book speakers for your classroom, let them know their message was well-received with a nice token of thanks. Have students use what they learned to design a custom Shopping Tote or to create thank-you bookmarks to stash away inside books.
Remember, a cultural approach to the holidays is not just for students from diverse backgrounds. Having a well-rounded cultural education helps all students gain new knowledge and grow an appreciation for cultures other than their own.
“Study: Projections of the diversity of the Canadian population.” Statistics Canada. Web. 2 Nov 2011.
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