Small Steps to a Creating a Culturally Competent School with Guest Jocelynn Hubbard


Click below to hear steps to creating a culturally competent school:

As ESL teachers, we are especially aware of how important it is for our ELL students to feel welcome, respected, and safe. Because of this, creating a culturally competent school environment is so important. Our guest today, Jocelynn Hubbard, is sharing how all teachers, admin, and staff play a huge role in creating this culturally competent environment for our students.

Creating a culturally responsive environment takes effort from all staff members to not only learn new things, but to unlearn some biases they may unknowingly have. Knowing how to transform our school environment into one that is respectful and welcoming to all cultures can seem intimidating. Luckily Jocelynn is here to help us begin this process!

In this episode, Jocelynn is sharing her experience in education and how she is helping schools now, what culturally responsive teaching is and why it is so important, how to develop cultural competency as a school, and actionable ways we can begin to transform our schools to be more culturally competent. 

Jocelynn Hubbard helps teachers spark joy during the learning experience by creating an inclusive and welcoming classroom environment for ALL their students. She is the founder and managing director of Custom Teaching Solutions, LLC and host of The Culture-Centered Classroom podcast. She has 16+ years of experience in education as an educator, speaker, professional development creator and facilitator. Driven by a passion to see the diverse people of our world feel welcomed, affirmed, and celebrated, she provides training on becoming and remaining culturally competent. As a wife and mother of five, her goals include squeezing in time for exercise, finding moments of joy each day, and parenting each of her children as unique individuals.

There are only a few days left to enter the giveaway! To celebrate the Equipping ELLS podcast’s one year anniversary, we are hosting a giveaway during the month of January. We are giving 10 lucky winners a resource of their choice from the Inspiring Young Learners store plus we are giving 5 lucky winners a grand prize of a one year membership to Equipping ELLs! Winners will be announced January 29, 2023.

How to enter:

  1. Leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. 1 entry for every review you leave so you can review as many episodes as you’d like to earn more entries!
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  3. Share the podcast with a friend or coworker and DM me a screenshot on Instagram @equippingells

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Jocelynn’s experience in education and how she is helping schools to become more culturally competent
  • What culturally responsive teaching is and why it matters now more than ever
  • What it looks like to develop cultural competency as a school
  • 3 steps to help build cultural competency
  • Why it is so crucial for teachers to challenge themselves to look at their own biases 
  • Actionable ways we can begin to create a more culturally competent school environment


Connect with Jocelynn:

Related episodes and blog posts:

Connect with Beth:

More about Equipping ELLs:

We all know that teaching isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be this hard. Equipping ELLs is a podcast for both ESL specialists and homeroom teachers who are looking for effective and engaging ways to support their English Language Learners without adding to their endless to-do list. Tune in each week to hear tips, strategies, and inspirational stories that will empower you to better reach your ELL students, equip them with life-long skills, and strengthen relationships with colleagues and parents.

Your host, Beth Vaucher, is the founder of Inspiring Young Learners. She is an ESL certified homeroom teacher with over 10 years of experience teaching in the US and internationally. Her background of M.Ed in ESL and Curriculum and Instruction combined with her experience has led her to develop a bestselling newcomer curriculum that has sold in over 90 countries around the globe. She brings a different perspective to teaching ELLs from her years teaching and living abroad and working with ELLs from around the world. You will walk away from each episode with the ideas and tools you need to transform your experience as a teacher and cultivate a thriving and welcoming environment for your ELL students.



  • Hello Beth,

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to you in your conversation with Jocelynn about the culturally responsive classroom. I like that you focused on both culture and language because with culture, everyone is involved and included in the classroom teaching.

    I currently teach in Lancaster, PA but I started my teaching career in Brooklyn, NY. I’m a caucasian woman and I taught in a predominantly black middle school. It was a rocky start getting acceptance by the students but it came down to mutual respect for our differences. The classroom was an open forum where we could express our biases. The school admin provided programs for open discussion with staff and students. In addition to bias, there were stereotypes which led to misunderstandings. ELA classroom content helped everyone understand that stereotypes are usually inaccurate.

    The neighborhood were I taught as an ENL (English as New Language) teacher had mostly Spanish speaking ENL students but here in PA, I have more languages in the classroom, like Swahili speaking African students. I love your idea to post and speak basic greetings in student languages. I can see the smiles on their faces when their heart languages are spoken:-)

    Thank you!

  • I just started to listen to these podcast and I LOVE it! This is my second year teaching ESL in both the middle and high school. In my district there are only three ESL teachers throughout the entire district. Being able to find something that I can listen to when I arrive early to my building gets me motivated and even more ready for the day. This podcast gave me a sense of hope as many days I feel defeated. THANK YOU!

  • This was a great Podcast.
    I listen to your podcasts on my way to school as I have a 25 minute commute. So many great ideas and resources!!


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