What steps can I take as an educator to make an inclusive classroom, even with my lack of practical experience?
Prior to the start of my long practicum, I was focusing my attention on how I could promote inclusion in my classroom where my students take on this role as well. Although this is extremely important, during the midst of my practicum, my question began to evolve after I began thinking about the 11 students in my classes with designations or other issues going on in their lives. I felt it would be important for myself to be able to create an inclusive classroom before I extend my knowledge to my students. Yes, I could have done the two at the same time, but I found it vital for me to focus my entire attention on my 11 students, especially after Mrs. Granbois (SS10 SA) said this was the first time she had seen this many students with designations in her classes. In the future, I will have more students like this and as a result, I found it crucial for me to learn new strategies and skills so I can be a confident teacher when it comes to SpEd. From this point forward, I started to come up with a variety of strategies to help me meet the needs of all my learners
In my two Social Studies 10 classes, I have one student with autism and about 9 others with either behavioral issues, personal issues going on in their personal lives, English Language Learner (ELL) students, or others I just need to keep a close eye on. In my Physical Education 9/10 class, I have a student in a wheelchair.
Before I tell you the strategies I used to help accommodate all these students in my classroom, I think it is essential to tell you one of the most helpful tools I believe we should all try to use, no matter what your student’s designation is. I believe it is essential to have an in-service meeting with your EAs and other LST teachers before the start of the semester (if possible). This was vital for me because it allowed me to better understand my students and provided me with background knowledge to outline steps and strategies I could take to support my students before they enter my classroom.
One item to note: I did not come up with all of these strategies after my in service meeting. As I got to know my students on an individual basis is when I was able to come up and implement majority of the strategies.
In the attached document, you will find strategies I used to help me meet the needs of the following students:
- ELL students
- Behavioral issues
- Personal issues
- Student in a wheelchair
Our Confederation Simulation consisted of a 6 day unit which was entirely student run. In order for this activity to work effectively, it was important for students to work well with not only their group members, but also members of the other colonies. Thus, inclusion was key and this activity ran smoothly!