Developing positive relationships
Educators are nurturers of relationships. We endeavour to create a sense of belonging by genuinely honouring and believing in every individual.
Although the French immersion program was originally designed for a homogenous group of Anglophones students, today’s classrooms represent many different cultures. For some students, French is their third or even fourth language and English is not necessarily their home language. Understanding cultural backgrounds and the challenges and strengths this brings for students, is an important consideration in any program. Each student lives in and identifies with a variety of communities such as family, social and cultural. Therefore, student engagement is constantly negotiated through these identities. Promoting the sharing of the different cultures within a classroom not only benefits the student by validating their culture but also exposes the other students to cultural diversity. It is fundamental that in our role as educators, we reflect on the relationship we form with our culturally diverse students (Cummins, 2000 p.47) as bridging the cultural gap is an important factor in a student’s academic success (Cummins, 2000).