One Special Education Teacher’s Thoughts on “Inclusion”
Inclusion is the process of giving every child the opportunity to achieve along with his/her peers in the now moment, each according to the innate gifts of the child. It is not designing a broad program of hierarchical expectations designed to have students conform to a world that does not value what they have to offer.
I have no fear of the new gifts and perspectives students bring. Mixed ability groups allow all students to experience all types of individuals, and to integrate the value of ALL individuals. No human being is “disabled”…… unless that is the agenda. My job is to enable. To recognize the unique gifts, and to mirror back to the child, “Yes, I see you. I see what you can do. Be you!”
My dream is that one day, teachers will be able to look at every child and co-create the educational experience that their intuition tells them to follow. I dream of schools that are completely collaborative, not driven by external mandates. I dream of being a teacher with the freedom to meet the needs of my students, and not have doors slammed in my face because, “the funds are just not there.” My students are not Federal dollars to me.They are not numbers on a score report, testing things that are totally unrelated to who they are. They are the heroes of our future. They are the force and love of the God of the universe. My prayer is that we learn to recognize it.