close up photograph of person praying in front lined candles
Anti-Racism, Teaching Tools

Supporting Students During Religious Holidays

In my last post, I shared my collection of links for April celebrations. This year (2022), April includes a few holidays/observances of different religions, and I included some in my collection. I regret that I was not more sensitive to these when I was in the classroom, and I now see some ways that I could have been better. For example, I had no knowledge about Ramadan, which will be observed by Muslims from April 1st through May 1st this year. Why would understanding Ramadan have made a difference? Because it is a month of fasting from dawn to dusk each day, and may include prayers late into the night. This will obviously impact students who observe Ramadan, and teachers should be aware of it. Passover and Easter also occur this April, so it’s important to note the potential influences of these in your classroom, too.

I found a great article, original written for the American Federation of Teachers, on “Culturally Responsive Instruction for Holidays and Religious Celebrations” here. The article also includes, near the bottom, a good summary of how public school teachers can approach the topic of religion without engaging in religious instruction. One thing that should be considered is your purpose, as “most often, teachers intend to foster tolerance for other beliefs and faiths, and one of the best ways for teachers to do this is to plan ahead and to consult with informed sources, colleagues, parents, and the community.”

You can find some information about Ramadan, Passover, and Easter in my April collection, and I certainly invite you to share more links with me if you know of any. I will be adding this post to my Anti-Racism collection, and hope that you will follow me on Wakelet for future updates to all of my collections.

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