Does it matter who teaches the kids? Should diversity be part of not only the students but also the staff and leadership?  Does any teacher hold transformative power regardless of years of...

Does it matter who teaches the kids? Should diversity be part of not only the students but also the staff and leadership? 

Does any teacher hold transformative power regardless of years of experience? 

How do issues of class and race affect education?

Is poverty standing in schools' way to achieve success with students?

Expert Answers
jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Diversity is an important consideration for classroom teachers, and diversity comes in many forms (racial, class background, ethnic background, religion, immigrant status, sexual identity, etc.). If students perceive that they are the only person representing diversity in a classroom, they can feel marginalized and alienated. As a result, their learning could be affected. Therefore, having a diverse staff in a school or university facilitates learning. Please see the source from the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning below.

A teacher can be transformative for a particular student or students, regardless of the teacher's experience. As teaching is very much a matter of the chemistry between the student and teacher, a teacher can reach a student because of his or her personal, professional, or other qualities. Years of experience do not always factor into the way a teacher can reach students.

Issues of race and class affect students in part because teachers might make assumptions about students based on race and class. That is why it is important to have a diverse teaching staff and for all teachers to examine their own biases regarding their students. Poverty is also a barrier to education at times, as students whose families are struggling to provide them with basic needs cannot always support students' learning (though some can). In addition, parents who have to struggle don't always have the time to support their children with homework and by interacting with the school and teachers.