The consensus regarding the necessity and purpose of assigning homework, seems to affirm the practice. When we are mindful of the learners in the classroom, we must recall that much ‘diversity’ exists among them.

The racial and cultural diversity MAY be obvious, but the there is diversity of the ‘home’ as a learning environment that can impact student performance.  Family dynamics, family income,  access and opportunity are but a few of the variables we must consider. It is far better to inquire about the unfamiliar rather than assume from your subjective, privileged, and deficit- influenced perceptions alone.

For instance, a student who is given an assignment that is tech infused, it must not be assumed that every student will have access to a pc, laptop or ipad/tablet. It may be a safe assumption that most students will have access to a smartphone, but that is not comparable to the aforementioned web-capable tech tools.

In an area that is underserved, under-resourced, with more risk factors characteristic of those who live at or in poverty, there are realities that we must understand. The home may be headed by a single woman, who may or may not work outside of the home. The housing situation may be perceived as ‘below’ our standards, and there may be cramped or crowded sleeping quarters. These are merely considerations, and we should not assume that this characterizes ALL families who ‘look’ the part.

There may be younger and/or older siblings in the home and bedrooms and bed may be shared. In these environments, factors such as those mentioned are only what we can see, for the picture may not be complete. So, assigning homework must be accompanied by an extremely mindful and empathic awareness. Unless we ensure that every student has equal access to quiet spaces, the needed supplies and a PC with web access, we can’t always admonish and embarrass little Johnny when his homework is incomplete. So, be considerate and mindful, AND establish meaningful relationships  with both your students and their families. Homework IS important, and so is working with the HOME!


Published by JaDonnia B.

An education and counseling professional, I focus my expertise on diversity, inclusion and family engagement/empowerment Of particular importance is the partnership between parents and the community schools that serve their children. Highlighting strategies, tips and evidence-based best practices for family engagement, my aim is to alter mindsets, broaden perspectives, foster empathy, and build capacity. Offering 'food for thought' and inviting discussion, I also tell truths rarely explored. A holistic culturally-responsive approach to teaching, learning and engaging others begins with respect. I promote respect and fully integrating curricular diversity in formal learning settings! Collaboration with families is necessary, because parents hold the master key that unlocks doors to child health and wellness, academic achievement, and believe it or not, teacher excellence and stronger school communities.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: