Connect With Students by EMBRACING America’s Changing Demographics


Although some Christians are harshly critical of the loaded term “POLITICAL CORRECTNESS,” it often works in favor of majority groups. Could you imagine an American politician being elected president if they promoted a different faith…or a lack of religious affiliation?

I teach in a small, conservative, largely homogeneous community. A decade ago, students would have been loathed to express views critical of Christianity. They’d of been even more reluctant to claim a different faith, and even less willing to proclaim no faith at all!

In my classroom, that’s changing. I’ve noticed a new willingness among young people to express minority viewpoints. I’ve noticed a recent boldness among students, both Christian and non-Christian, to be critical of America’s dominant religious tradition.

I don’t teach in a bubble. The Pew Research Center just published a fascinating report on America’s rapidly changing religious landscape. The implications for classrooms of the near future are profound.

I’ve seen these changes at work, and they frighten many. Whether America’s changing religious landscape will have a positive or negative impact on our society is a matter of intense debate. But successful educators of the future will recognize that these changes ARE occurring! You may wish for the students you had 10 years ago, but they aren’t coming back. Accept that these changes are happening. Embrace present and future students. Connect with them…bond with them! It’s not only humane, but it’s rational.

If you’d like to learn more about connecting with students, check out my book “You’ve Gotta Connect”


You can also listen to me talk about connecting with students on the following podcasts:

Inspiration 4 Teachers with Kelly Long #16 http:

Inspiration 4 Teachers with Kelly Long #16

Talks With Teachers with Brian Sztabnik #66

Inspiring Educators with Sung Lee #34

Cult of Pedagogy with Jennifer Gonzalez #09

AJEd Episode with Adam Jones #07

The Middle Way Society UK with Barry Daniel #54

Principal Center Radio with Justin Baeder

All Sides on NPR’s WOSU 89.7 with Ann Fisher

Middle School Matters #297

Please visit my website and follow me on Twitter @jamessturtevant