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Honoring Our Cultures in the Classroom

Growing up as an Asian American, I saw very little representation of my culture outside of the home. Many of the traditions my family celebrated at home were not recognized or honored outside of our own community. As an educator, I know it is important for students to see themselves in what we celebrate year-round. These school celebrations allow students of all backgrounds to feel seen and heard and to learn more about other cultures, drawing connections between themselves and their classmates. It’s these moments that help us strengthen our school culture and teach our students to become culturally-responsive and build their confidence and pride in their own heritages.

It’s truly beautiful to see students modeling inclusiveness and compassion with their fellow classmates. This morning during dropoff, one of the students participating in our special Lunar New Year celebration at Launch was super nervous to go into her classroom with her traditional clothing. She was pretty unsure of herself, and hung outside by the door. Her classmates encouraged her with words of affirmation, telling her how pretty she looked and how cool her clothes were, which gave her the confidence and comfort she needed to go inside class and sit with her classmates. I am proud of our students for modeling our core values of empathy and respect in celebration of different cultures.

At Rocketship Fuerza, we have a large Vietnamese community, a true reflection of East San Jose’s rich diversity. I am extra excited every year to celebrate Lunar New Year with my students. As a school, we are giving our Asian students the representation I never got growing up.

So happy Lunar New Year, Rocketship! May the new year bring you all prosperity and happiness in the Year of the Tiger.


Published on February 4, 2022