ILASCD Journal

Fall 2019

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Article All Are Welcome in My Classroom Jennifer LaRocque As teachers, it starts with us. It is more important today than ever before that we teach our students acceptance, tolerance and kindness. Each and every student needs to feel safe, welcomed and valued in our classrooms and schools. According to Zarreta Hammond in her book, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students, students who are stressed or feel uncomfortable release stress hormones such as cortisol, which can impact their executive brain function (Hammond, 2015). This release of these hormones can impact a student's ability to learn and take in new information. In summary, students who do not feel welcomed in their classroom will have a difficult time learning. That is why I started the social media campaign #allarewelcomeinmyclassroom on June 20th, 2018. June 20th is World Refugee Day and June is pride month, so there was no better time to spread the message that "all are welcome in my classroom". There is a lot of hate and negativity on social media and in the world today. I started this movement to be a role model for my students to show them how to be global, digital citizens and express their opinion in a positive manner. But, more importantly, I want my students ( and their families) to know that no matter FALL 2019 | VOLUME 65 | NUMBER 3 | PAGE 66

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