Recognizing and respecting differences among people is characteristic of our industry, and a reality in most workplaces. In the classroom, honoring differences also creates a positive environment where everyone is welcome and feels safe and included.
By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT
Last month, we discussed ways to promote diversity in our classrooms, a continuing challenge for many of us, especially when it involves more than just focus on different foods, in itself a great activity. This month, we will discuss honoring and celebrating differences—moving beyond recognizing diversity to making special notice of ways in which people are distinguished, one from another.
Reasons for Honoring
There are many reasons to honor individual differences, not the least of which is making the classroom a positive environment where everyone is welcome, everyone feels safe, and everyone feels included. In addition, honoring differences is characteristic of this industry, and a reality in most kitchens, restaurants and hotels. And as a way of contributing to the growth of the profession, we need to role model accepting and honoring differences.
In trying to honor differences, I practice three of four different strategies: learning and using students’ correct names, remembering and mentioning particular details of their lives, publically recognizing aspects of their lives, and organizing groups that recognize the range of differences.