My mind does not go straight to race when I think about my culture. I automatically think about being from “the South”. A place where women are expected act like ladies/the typical southern belle. My mind then jumps to my religion and then straight to my denomination, “Southern Baptist” (now that I am older, I just claim Christian instead of Southern Baptist). Honestly, when I think about my culture, I have mixed feelings. I am proud to be from the south however, I am not so proud of our racist past and/or present. Growing up in a Southern Baptist church, I was taught that you did not date black people because, “God said so”. When I was faced with the dilemma in my teens, I told the guy I would not date him “because God said so” and he laughed in my face. Until then, I had no reason to question everything I had been taught. I began a journey for the truth and I learned that there were three common answers among the many trust worthy adults (from five different Baptist churches). There was: A – Yes, but I do not know where it is at, B – No, it’s not, and C – I don’t know. Finally, I found the answer I was looking for from Brother Shane Duke. Brother Shane knew the Bible from cover to cover, and he was someone that I could trust. I keep bringing up the issue of trust because I would have been looked down upon in my town if everyone knew I was trying to date a “black guy”. I questioned Brother Shane after a youth night at a neighboring church. His answer? Numbers Chapter 12. It told about how Miriam and Aaron picked on their brother, Moses, for having an Ethiopian wife. Eventually, God punishes Miriam with leprosy to set an example. I felt triumphant, but then he followed it with, “Honor thy Mother and Father”, and I was immediately knocked off of my high horse. It is amazing how every aspect of someone’s culture shapes who they are as a person.
“It is rare that any two classroom teachers or education scholars have the same definition for multicultural education.”(Gorski, 1995-2008). The teacher’s own culture is going to influence how they perceive and teach the subject of multicultural education. Therefore, a teacher must be knowledgeable of many cultures other than their own. How are you supposed to teach something that you are ignorant of? A high-quality multicultural education curriculum should be accurate and complete. Also, the lesson should be sure to include a wide variety of cultures.
“Every student must have an equal opportunity to achieve to her or his full potential” (Gorski, 1995-2008), and as a teacher I have a responsibility to help that student attain that goal. To help them I must understand how my biases, opinions, and prejudices affect the quality of education I give to each student. I also have to make the effort to eliminate the biases, opinions, and prejudices that will occur in my classroom and my everyday life. Multicultural education has become a necessity in our society because of the vast array of cultures that now call the United States home. So, we must attempt to prepare our students for the ever-changing, progressively integrated society of America. I would hate to think that a student created a bias against a certain group of people because of events that I allowed in my classroom. Now, a teacher cannot prevent biases from being formed in the student’s home, but a teacher can prevent biases from forming in a classroom.
A major belief that I have is that all students should have a positive learning environment. A way to make a student feel positive is to make them feel important. That is why the individual cultural experiences of each student are important to everyone in the classroom. The student who is sharing their story feels important and the other students listening feel closer to that classmate. Of course, I will have to also share my cultural experiences with my students. Student-centered pedagogy makes learning more personal and I believe that learning comes alive when the students have a personal connection with the lesson. Hopefully, my students will learn just how multicultural the world around them is.
Please no negative comments if you disagree w/ what I wrote. I would just like another brain to help me see if it flows well. Thanks!

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