We believe that there are many school factors that affect the success of our students – Washington School’s atmosphere and overall attitudes toward diversity, involvement of the community, and culturally responsive curriculum, to name a few.
Of all of these factors, the personal and academic relationships between teachers and their students may be the most influential. This relationship has been referred to as the “core relationship” of learning – the roles of teachers and students, the subject matter, and their interaction in the classroom.
It is vital that we view every student as a unique individual regardless of the student’s background, while at the same time respecting multiple cultural heritages and their impact on learning styles and classroom expectations. This is not a simple task, and there is no simple way to accomplish it.
Obviously we cannot be prepared for every possible situation that might arise. Instead, here at Washington School we focus on being open to different perspectives, being aware of stereotypes and prejudiced behaviour and being ready to help every student in our classroom to become better engaged in the material and learn.
Establishing cultural awareness amongst our students is an ongoing and long-term process that demands enthusiasm and curiosity about other cultures and a willingness to adapt educational practices to mirror the values and special characteristics of children and their families.
To this end we are becoming increasingly connected with students from different schools within the UK and from schools elsewhere on the globe.