7 Ways Teachers can Foster Culturally Safe Classrooms


  • Establish Inclusive Agreements: Create class agreements that safeguard against racism, harassment, and bullying. We have to support our students to define their own code of conduct. “How do we want to be treated? How will we treat others?”


  • Facilitate Discussions with Sensitivity: Define why an issue might be sensitive to some and not to others. Explore how class members discuss potentially sensitive issues, creating a safe space for open dialogue. Support students to critically reflect on complex issues and topics with care. 


  • Avoid Singling Out: Do not expect any student to speak as a representative of their Culture. Instead, foster an inclusive environment where students feel comfortable sharing aspects of their Culture voluntarily. Understand that no individual can be expected to serve as a spokesperson for the diversity of experiences encompassed within our Cultures. 


  • Foster Authentic Relationships with Community: Foster authentic relationships with the Traditional Custodians of the Country your school is located. Form partnerships based on shared decision-making and reciprocity. 


  • Promote Continuous Learning: Emphasise that learning is a reciprocal process. We learn from young people EVERY DAY. How do you show your love of learning? By approaching learning alongside our students, we create dynamic and enriching educational experiences. We must also do our research to choose culturally safe and inclusive educational resources, ensuring they are authored, co-designed, or endorsed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


  • LOVE: Reconnect with your love of teaching. Young people are not only the leaders of the future but also hold a wisdom we sometimes underestimate. Encourage an atmosphere where students express love and respect in healthy and appropriate ways towards one another. Remember, fostering a caring environment not only benefits the students but rejuvenates our passion for teaching. 


  • Model, Model, Model! Model behaviour and language that fosters love, respect, curiosity, and compassion. Demonstrate Critical and Creative thinking by openly discussing the interpretation of complex ideas, opinions and problems to deepen understandings of various contexts. Celebrate diversity actively. Remember, if you’re not doing it, how can you expect your students to? Your actions set the tone for the classroom.

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