This week I was challenged to compose a Diversity Statement, related to my teaching. I really enjoyed the challenge and would love to engage in the writing activity collectively, as faculty on a Professional Development Day. Below is what I have written. I welcome your response.
City College of San Francisco’s Mission is to "promote successful learning and student achievement to meet the needs of our diverse community”, with a Vision "guided by the principles of inclusiveness, integrity, innovation, creativity, and quality.”
CCSF students represent a rich diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. My classes at CCSF are designed for students in academic and non-academic ESL programs, who come from a mix of academic backgrounds. Some have no formal schooling, while others have advanced degrees. We collaborate as a respectful learning community, meeting everyone's learning needs, guided by the Student Learning Outcomes.
I bring a curiosity about culture and language acquisition to my teaching. I am sensitive to learners' expectations of classroom culture. We use language that is inclusive, avoiding words that are sexist or hetereosexist. Our students are all ages, so we do not use ageist language. Leadership is promoted with both women and men serving as group facilitators, so that students learn to express themselves and to respectfully listen to one another. We practice "wait time" so that all students have equal opportunity to respond to questions. We pause and not "talk over" one another.
I collaborate with students, staff, and faculty of diverse sexual orientations. In my classes, we study the global LGBTQ movement, Disability Rights, and international Human Rights, emphasizing racial and ethnic discrimination and social justice victories.
I am sensitive to a variety of learning styles and abilities and regularly incorporate a mix of learning modalities. We use technology mindfully, as a tool for expressing ideas and making meaningful connections. I am sensitive to the accessibility of the physical space and of all learning materials and provide accommodation and equal access for students of all abilities.
Learners from different socioeconomic backgrounds are in my classes. I choose affordable textbooks and refer students to the college's Book Loan Program. I choose learning materials where people of different ages, races and physical abilities are represented in images. Lessons are adapted for pre-literacy students, and high-achieving students are challenged and guided toward higher education pathways.
While working together to build this community I request that all learners abide by the following parameters:
● Share our own unique experiences, values and beliefs
● Value one another’s opinions and communicate in a respectful manner
● Be open to the views of others
● Honor the uniqueness of peers
● Appreciate the opportunity that we have to learn from each other in this community
I share my own experiences of studying and teaching abroad, with honest conversations about culture shock and cultural confusion. I apply my own learning from the Reflective Teaching Project, Non-Violent Communication, and Insight Dialogue trainings to deepen our collective practice of effective speaking and active listening. We explore cultural differences as rich learning opportunities for an understanding of one another's cultures and personal communication styles.
We are a community of lifelong learners, and I am inspired and motivated to serve the diversity of students dynamically represented here at CCSF.