While the week is winding down from National Inclusive Schools Week, we still could not take the opportunity pass up a chance to talk about Inclusive Schools.
On the whole, Inclusive Schools are schools that offer the opportunity for students to learn. When one focuses on just students with disabilities, this means that they are working with their peers. Inclusion tends to be interpreted widely, many schools have many different models, some more successful than others and some certainly more oriented towards inclusion than others.
But what all inclusive schools have done have provided a recognition that schools are a part of the community that students of all abilities deserve their education. And those students make friends and strengthen their communities in all the ways possible as they grow up together.
Earlier this week, we challenged some of our #BetterTogether associates about the positives we have seen and we still see from inclusive classes and schools. And there are many, many positives. Of which, paraeducators are most likely to get to see just because of the proximity to all students in a classroom.
We see students learn to appreciate their classmates for all the things they contribute to school and to each other. It is not always in the end that “we were nice because the student has a disability”, “we were nice because they were nice too.”
We hear students asking to sit at the lunch table with students to make space for their peers who have a disability. We see the students sitting on a curb on the playground giggling about something. We see the students helping eachother out.
But bigger than the students, we hear general education teachers tell every student, “I appreciate your contribution to this class.” And, “Thank you for speaking up today, I like to hear your voice.”
And it is the opportunity that we highlight, because without it, we, paraeducators, teachers, and classmates, would not know how much we all can grow and adapt, making the example that when we work and play together, we make our community #BetterTogether.
ParaEducate will sign off for 2016 on December 15, 2016 (next week!) We will return January 12, 2017. Do you have any questions about this week’s blog? Do you want to offer a guest blog? Find ParaEducate online here, here, here, here, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.