When you have Aboriginal children in your classrooms it is vital that you know how to build a trusting relationship with them and leave all your preconceived ideas at the door. You know those ideas that a majority of Indigenous kids can’t learn and are not interested in learning. If you leave all these thoughts and preconceived ideas at the door you begin to build a new relationships and find out that all any child wants is someone who cares for them, who wants to see them achieve great things in life, someone who believes in them and can understand them.
It is up to you as the teacher of these kids to get to know them not just when they are behaving or on task but in those moments of despair and anger. Show them that you care. By building a relationship with every child in your class you build up the rapport between both parties and your understanding of them begins to deepen. When a teacher knows their children, they know that the night before they may not have had any sleep, or they may not have had breakfast and maybe that is the underlying issue of the behaviour. Understanding Indigenous kids and their home life, culture, history is such an important part of building that relationship between you both. It’s not just about understanding them but also about caring. Letting them now you truly care about their well being. Letting them know that you believe in them and that you are there for them.
Making real connections with Indigenous children brings magic not only into their life but in yours as well. They begin to have hope; they begin learning new things that may just be their passion in life and you are that one person that they remember when they becaome successful adults. You are that one teach that helped them reach higher.
Tips on teaching Indigenous children
- Get to know their cultural background.
- Set higher expectations for them, just because they may have underperformed in their last class doesn’t mean they will do the same in your class.
- Show them that you are interested in their culture by providing lessons that relate back to their life and surroundings.
- Help them to become more confident by providing them with strategies to help them look and feel confident.
- Have more group and team activities rather than individual work tasks, until they become more confident in their own ability.
- Your programs should include lots of indigenous perspectives, teach them to own their culture and be proud. Use cultural dance and music themes in your CAPA lessons.
- Give the child more chances and let them know you really care when they are not showing the correct behaviour. Provide them with a quiet spot to go to when they are getting angry. Teach them how to react differently by going into their spot to calm down then rejoin the class after 5 minutes. (set a time limit)
- Most of all build trust!
Post by: Bronwyn Cochrane January 17th, 2018