It’s a very human instinct to sort of set these people that you first initially meet into different groups but then like I kind of want to break away from that habit and like try to understand and try to get to know different people I may not have ever talked to before. cultural proficiency cultural proficiency cultural proficiency Is Really about embracing and Understanding diversity in all its forms. We often think of diversity as just race and ethnicity, but there’s so much more we’ve been in this workshop this year talking about how Hammond has its own culture and it’s a wonderful culture that’s loving and loving of diversity and this workshop just enhances that But we also delve into other things It could be there’s diversity within grades even what grade you’re in and there’s a culture for ninth grade of culture or 10th grade There’s a culture within each class And then of course as we walk out of the doors of Hammond into society, there’s a greater culture There’s the unite, you know the culture of the United States but there’s the culture or Maryland. There’s a culture of Columbia and it’s just a group that you belong with and identify with and the point of the workshop is really crossing those lines where there are different bubbles of culture and realizing that All these people are human we all share Something in common. One thing that really stood out was this activity where we stood on a line and there were a series of statements that were said and if you identified personally with that statement and it would be like something some of them would be personal some of them would be like Something about does your family suffer through like poverty or like does your family Do you have a single parent or Something like that, and then some of the questions were like, did you go to overnight camp when you were a child? so like that kind of like gives you a perspective of like how different people Find similarities Feeling like part of minority versus a majority. Because like some people would like step forward like you would be like “huh, I never noticed that was to be a situation for the sort of person.” Just for a school being diverse don’t mean it defines that meaning. So, we try to… we try to understand everybody’s perspective. and from where they’re coming from and different countries and different homes and all of that and different learning techniques because it is kinda strange and unique in a different way. Well teachers or people saying “I don’t see color” That is just it’s it’s wrong. It’s not that you can’t see color it’s a thing that you can’t judge based on color. And so we talk more about situations that come up with our culture. And things like that. For example culture is not where you’re from but where you’re from is part of your culture. And we kind of learn more about what that means and how we can help that be a widespread thing. This has been an amazing experience for me and it’s giving me opportunity to be not only connect with students But also connect with staff members that I usually don’t get to connect with throughout the building It has definitely opened me up to you know, the perspective and idea of other people’s cultures and diversity and things of that nature The connections that I’ve made here through this process has been remarkable. Everyone has a culture but the culture you create in your classrooms as well. the culture that you Bring from home outside what we think of culture that we associate with ethnicity. And seeing that concept and developing more of that. Also seeing who might be left out Difficult to include everyone but it at least have an open mind and perception that Culture is not just ethnicity breaking away from that Try to include as many as people as possible This is supported by the office of diversity equity and inclusion the central office who runs this professional development for teachers But we’ve tweaked it and changed it a little bit So it moves to just the Hammond community and what’s also very special about this workshop Beyond it being just for the Hammond students staff and parents It’s also something where at the end of this we start looking at action. We ask for students to lift up their voices and tell us what they want to do what actions they want to do to enhance the culture of Hammond to enhance cultural proficiency and Communications and relationships in general so and they all they’ve all been really great at this in past years We’ve had students work towards having a gender-neutral bathroom we’ve had Students start lunch groups where they start conversations of their own And I can’t wait to see what this year’s group Chooses to do and every year we do a little bit something different and it’s all about lifting up those student voices.