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Posted on June 10, 2013 8:52 pm
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Lorraine Gilpin
Lorraine Gilpin
Reps: 31
Interaction with Diverse Peers
A few years ago, we moved to a new town in the rural south during the summer. At the start of school, I was delighted to see that my son's class was quite diverse in its ethnic and racial composition. I shared with my son's fifth grade teacher that my son had a diverse groups of friends at her previous school. I told her that I would like him to work and play with as many diverse peers as possible. However, all my son's partners for projects, peers at his table, and even suggestions of "good" friends for my son have all been the same ethnicity (nearly all the same gender too) as him. I don't want to be perceived as a bothersome parent at this new school, but my son's interaction with diverse peers is important to me. What should I do?
 
     
     
 
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Solution 1
Posted March 12, 2015 4:38 pm

buZage
buZage
Reps: 100
Most 5th grade classes still have recess time. If this is the case, I would encourage your son to seek out new diverse friends during their free time or non-academic classes (such as P.E. or Music). I would also ask the teacher how she chooses her groups in her classroom. If she's grouping them by ability levels, it might just be a coincidence that your son has been placed into a group with other students who are similar to him. If she is using a more opinion-based model for grouping, I would simply remind her that you feel it is important that he learn to work in culturally diverse groups. In order to support this request, you might mention the fact that Peter D. Hart Research Associates found that employers' highest priority in hiring college graduates is their ability to collaborate with others in diverse group settings.
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Solution 2
Posted October 19, 2014 1:46 pm

ahubeT
ahubeT
Reps: 120
My first inclination would be to have talks with my son first. He is at an age where he will understand that all of his classmates are potential friends. I sat with peers all the time that were not my "friends". We got along, but they were not peers I socialized with outside of school. Where I sit and where I live does not dictate who my friends are and who I interact with all the time. My seat in school dictates who I work with and speak to in that moment. I would also meet with his teacher again. In a diverse classroom, there is no reason a student should be placed with with same gender and ethnicity. Is the son allowed to choose his own partner, and he is choosing who he works with on the projects? Suggestions are just that, no suggestion of a friend is a mandated friend. We choose our friends based on who we have things in common with and who are a reflection of some part of self.
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Solution 3
Posted October 19, 2014 8:11 pm

myNepu
myNepu
Reps: 103
I think the best thing you can do as a parent is to continue leading by example. While your son does pick up a number of character traits from school, most of them are learned at home. If you instill in him the importance of treating everyone equal, and you set that example at home, he will make good choices when it comes to that.
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Solution 4
Posted March 13, 2015 2:42 am

aqeRyR
aqeRyR
Reps: 101
I would first speak with my son and express the importance to him of building relationships with all classmates regardless of background, ethnicity, sex, and the positive effect these relationships will have on his future success. I would then of course model to my son these diverse peers, by building relationships myself with diverse peers.
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Solution 5
Posted October 12, 2017 10:38 pm

jysema
jysema
Reps: 102
Conversations with both the teacher and your son will be important. That communication is key to overturning this delema. I would recommend also seeing if you could set up playmates with the other parents, or to study together. Still push the teacher of course, but supplement the lack of it being present in the mean time.
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Solution 6
Posted October 5, 2015 3:53 am

Dawn Rogers
Dawn Rogers
Reps: 204
Ask about different clubs and groups that are diverse that the student can join. This will give the student an opportunity to meet new, diverse people.
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