Dr. Douglas L. Ragland
Retired Superintendent of Schools
Educators must have Diversity Awareness and Training aligned in the curriculum as well as in their professional development to ensure success for students of all ethnic backgrounds in public schools.
As I reflect on the Standard 4 Final Professional Study, I have become very much aware of the increasing numbers of English Language Learner Students in our schools as well as the mandates on professionals to understand the cultural differences in the students we serve. It is important to align our curriculum and teaching strategies in ways that relate to the students' interests and provide all of the necessary resources and opportunities to keep parents involved and engaged in the educational process of their children. Parental involvement and making parents feel comfortable in the school setting is paramount to the success of students in the educational process. Understanding of cultures is beneficial to educators in an effort to avoid stereotypes that will lead to barriers to optimal learning for students, as well as optimal communication with parents. In my efforts to work with various groups in reference to my civic responsibilities on various boards and committees I serve, educational organizations, and in general the community at large, I will be more cognizant of the cultural differences of the people I interact with and my actions and decisions will be made with respect to the knowledge and competencies I have gained from this study. In working with educators, I will share the importance of professional development in understanding cultural differences in students and designing teaching strategies and curriculum to employ optimal success of students based on student interests, strengths, parental involvement, and resources within the community and school setting. This is in essence my Standard 4 Final Professional Study Reflection on Being a Culturally Competent Educator.