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Posted on December 9, 2012 9:30 am
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Suzi Hancock
Suzi Hancock
Reps: 134
Iranian student
I was a paraprofessional for a second grade class a few years ago. Since it was basically a military town, many of the students had military parents. One of the students in our class was Iranian. He spoke perfect English, but he and his parents had thick accents. His mom wore traditional Iranian clothing, but the student didn't. He wore what all the other kids wore: blue jeans and t-shirts.

When the school year started, I noticed that the other kids stayed away from the Iranian student. The teacher tried to get the students to interact with each other, but it was no use. Looking back, I wonder if it was the student's personality or his culture that the other kids tried to stay away from. How could a teacher get students to give the Iranian student a chance? How could we get second graders to make friends with everyone?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted December 9, 2012 3:09 pm

Wendie Sikes
Wendie Sikes
Reps: 57
Young kids will often shy away from kids that are different. I think this is because they do not know how to interact with people who are different from them. The teacher could use an activity that would allow the students to see the differences in each other and also allow them to get know their fellow classmates. The teacher should also encourage students to be accepting of all types of people. We have to remember that even though students are young they are sponges and everything they hear are at home or even on the news may stick with them. After the lesson on differences, the teacher could have the students spend a few minutes each day getting to know a different student until all students have had a chance to get to know each other. This may foster many friendships.
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Solution 2
Posted February 11, 2013 1:15 pm

Alexa Lowery
Alexa Lowery
Reps: 26
Like some of the previous solutions offered, children are quick to pick up on the stereotypes and biases of others. I might would have a "class culture" party and invite all students and their families to come learn about different cultures. This way, if students are picking up on stereotypes at home you could possibly addess these by having the parents there.
My uncle is from Iran, and I know that people from Middle Eastern countries can often be stereotyped as terrorists. It is hurtful to me when I hear people generalize like this, because I know my uncle is a wonderful person. It is very important to stress an attitude of respect for everyone in the classroom.
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Solution 3
Posted December 9, 2012 10:17 pm

Lindsey Harrison
Lindsey Harrison
Reps: 108
Some team building activities should definitely be set in the curriculum. The teacher could also implement lessons that are geared towards different cultures, and how its ok to be different sometimes. She could even let the gets get involved by having them bring in things from their different cultures and allow them to research their heritage.
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Kady Schlemmer
Kady Schlemmer
Reps: 202
I like the idea of utilizing team building exercises. They are so much fun and more often that not, kids get so focused on accomplishing the task at hand that forget the differences of those beside them. At that point, there is a chance for friendship to blossom. Great solution!
  Posted on: July 9, 2016 3:54 pm

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Solution 4
Posted December 9, 2012 10:05 am

Sarah Hogan Johnson
Sarah Hogan Johnson
Reps: 163
There are several team building activities that this teacher could do. The only problem I see with this is that once the activity is over, so is the teamwork, especially with younger children. I would sit the students in pairs, taking special care in choosing a student to sit with the new student. I would give it enough time for them to become well acquainted and then I would change their partners. Students at this age do very well in pairs. According to research in developmentally appropriate practices, 7 year olds actually perform better in pairs than in groups. It is much easier to make friends with one student at a time. It may take time, but he will make friends.
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Solution 5
Posted February 16, 2013 11:40 pm

Liz Iannacone
Liz Iannacone
Reps: 34
I think this response might be directly connected to the fact the students are from mostly military families. I am sure the parents tell the children basic information concerning what the military parents' jobs involve, which would likely paint Middle Eastern countries and their people in a negative light. A child's mind may paint the picture to mean that anyone from that area is bad or are 'the bad guys that my Mom/ Dad are fighting against'. I think it would be great to incorporate some kind of heritage or cultural background. This way all the students get to learn about each others cultures, as well as see Iranian culture in a positive light. If there is a lesson you are teaching concerning Middle Eastern customs, it would be a great opportunity to allow the student to take part in the teacher role. If they were able, it would be great for parental involvement. This way, the students know that Iranians of all ages are kind and should be treated the same way as their other neighbors.
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Solution 6
Posted December 9, 2012 4:43 pm

Erin Warren
Erin Warren
Reps: 142
I think I would do some teacm building activities but also have that student bring in items that describe his/her culture for show and tell. ALl kids like show and tell and this would make him "cool" in the eyes of the children. THey would all want to find out more about him and his culture after they got to know him through some of his toys and cultural things.
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Solution 7
Posted February 11, 2013 3:25 pm

Mary Reynolds
Mary Reynolds
Reps: 22
In younger grades this is always a problem! Students who don't want to play with each other for every reason under the sun. Sometimes though children see different people as dangerous. Especially if their parents have discussed stereotypes in front of their children. The only way to ever get to the bottom of these problems is to actually talk to the children. Maybe the class as a whole could talk about what a stereotype is and why they aren't good. Then the teacher could have a private conference with the children affected by the situation. However, the teacher can only do so much to tell second graders to be nice to one another. I think that talking about being different and how diversity makes us better people as a class would be a good solution.
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Solution 8
Posted February 11, 2013 1:02 pm

Meredith Talley
Meredith Talley
Reps: 30
I think that the other students' cause for caution around this student may have to deal with the stereotypes their parents have. Their parents may not have told them to have these stereotypes, but the children have learned them because of wanting to be just like their parents. In order to get rid of the stereotypes you could have his mother or father come in and talk about their culture and where they come from. They can bring in foods and dress that are customary at their house. This way the other students will learn more about their classmate and will become comfortable with him. This can be expanded on by implementing the buddy system that has been mentioned already.
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Solution 9
Posted February 11, 2013 3:24 pm

Deja Jones
Deja Jones
Reps: 27
As a teacher I would create a lesson plan directed towards the Iranian culture. Maybe the students didn't like him because they were unaware of his culture and are basing their opinions on what they've already heard. Personally, I attended an elementary school right next to the military base, and right after 9/11 we were all cautious of people of that culture. Its not common young children watch CNN at night with their parents, so they base their judgement off of rumors. The goal of the lesson plan is to tell the truth, and open their eyes to the world and not everything they hear is true. Once they realize how alike the Iranian student is to them, they would be more accepting. As for the issue with second graders making friends with everyone period, is another lesson plan or discussion. There are plenty of books out there explaining the importance of friendship and treating everyone equally. These should be shared in the classroom if an issue occurs.
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Solution 10
Posted February 18, 2013 12:47 am

Kayce Cook
Kayce Cook
Reps: 24
The students and possibly their parents are showing classic signs of stereotyping this Iranian family. Because of recent global events and the community's military background, there is a stigma about Middle Eastern decedents. The teacher's task of creating relationships between the Iranian student and other classmates could be accomplished by having the students do activities that force them to collaborate with each other to succeed in the task. Also, the teacher can create activities that lead to diversity acknowledgment about various cultures, not just Iran's but other cultures as well. Second graders have usually not developed strong stereotypes of their own. It mostly comes from family members and other influential adults that they interact with. Breaking these stereotypes and school at such an early age can lead to long-lasting relationships that this student can develop.
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Solution 11
Posted October 21, 2014 3:48 pm

mequqy
mequqy
Reps: 87
Especially in lower elementary grades, I believe that it important that students learn how to cooperate and work with others, who may or may not be different from them. It is important for the teacher to create a classroom environment that fosters acceptance and appreciation for others. One way to achieve this is by having the students frequently work with partners or small groups for various activities, each time with different students. This will help students learn to work with one another and hopefully they will begin to see past a culture or color of skin.
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Solution 12
Posted February 28, 2015 3:23 am

yDegyv
yDegyv
Reps: 101
If I were in this position I would try to open up the children minds to the Iranian culture. I would accomplish this by having them do a little research on the history and maybe view a few educational documentaries on Iran. I would try to make the student proud of his culture by telling the other students how much of knowledge in the western world is owed to the discoveries from his part of the world.
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