“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” — John Lennon
As we head back to school this year, I cannot help but feel optimistic. What I always enjoyed about working in education, whether as a teacher or an administrator, is that each year, each semester, you get the opportunity to do it all over again, better. Not many professions allow you to grow in your practice in the same way being an educator does. The school breaks allow time for you to step away, reflect on your practice, and return refreshed, with new ideas and strategies to hone your craft.
This year, I am particularly enthused, as schools across America, with an influx in funds, are able to transform education into a powerful means through which to teach our youth inclusion. Inclusive schools create an inclusive society, where all students feel welcomed and valued. They teach students to honor and embrace difference. These schools produce thoughtful and intelligent lifelong learners and future leaders.
But what does that look like? To me, it looks like mixed ability classrooms with differentiated instruction, opportunities for enrichment and reteaching built into the school day, among other things. It looks like educators modeling collaboration for their students through the use of common planning times, teaming, and coteaching. Inclusive schools understand also that professional development should be prescriptive and differentiated just as it is for our students.
Do you share my dream of creating inclusive schools? Join me and we can create and implement a plan at your school or district for getting there. Contact Alexis at firstname.lastname@example.org.