Culturally Responsive Classroom Management

It’s no secret that in most school districts, minority students are disproportionately disciplined, but whose fault is this? The students who are misbehaving? Their peers who might have egged them on or bullied them? Their teachers? Their administrators?

The answer, in all likelihood, is all of the above (to some degree), and none of the above. In many cases, the root causes of discipline can be traced back to disruptive behavior that might have been prevented if there had been more focus on culturally responsive classroom management.

Think about it for a moment: Instead of trying to be hyper-vigilant about disciplining all students fairly and equitably, what if you could prevent the problems that led to the need for discipline?

That’s entirely possible if you commit to a culturally responsive classroom management style.

Culturally responsive teaching and classroom management techniques include:

  • model warm, accepting, and inclusive behavior
  • maintain a positive perspective on all students and their families
  • avoid the mindset that there are “good” students and “bad” students
  • set and communicate high expectations for all students
  • focus on student-centered instruction that values each student’s culture
  • incorporate culturally responsive activities into your teaching
  • modify or create curriculum that includes diverse learning materials
  • take on the role of “facilitator” sometimes, instead of always being the “teacher”
  • arrange seating and group work to facilitate student-to-student interactions
  • incorporate multiethnic pictures and visual aids into your teaching materials
  • provide individual help to all students

Culturally responsive classroom management takes conscious thought and action, but it can create a more positive learning environment for all students, which can have long-range impacts on all communities.

Education 4 Equity
At Education 4 Equity, we offer a range of 100% online professional development courses for teachers. We have a 3-credit online course on Classroom Management: Restorative Justice In Action. In this classroom management course, you’ll learn how to incorporate restorative justice practices into your teaching. Many of these concepts and techniques are intertwined with culturally responsive best practices.