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Inclusion Column

Inclusion: A lifestyle

By Mr. Juanjo Moreno, Grade 6 Team Leader

I have always felt proud to be an Eagle; since I was hired I felt happy to belong to a top school not only in Monterrey but of all Latinamerica. However, this pride and love for my school grew even stronger when it was announced, in 2015, that we were moving towards a more inclusive community. Since day one, I started looking for ways to bring that new vision to life in my own classroom, my own grade level, division, and even personal life. I started to plan for ways to develop a sense of belonging and inclusivity in my classroom and grade level, despite uniqueness in students' and teachers’ abilities, capabilities, likes or believes. 

However, I very soon came to realize that inclusion is not something that can be taught in a classroom alone. Inclusion is not a lesson plan to follow or a standard to meet, but rather a lifestyle and a mindset to develop. To achieve this, we need to model it every day to our students and children; every single action that we take speaks volumes about our true commitment to inclusion and one single action can erase years of lecturing about being inclusive. 

Let’s be honest… inclusion is all about kindness. If we, as a community of parents and educators, worked to raise our children in a truly kind, compassionate world we wouldn’t even need to talk about inclusion as it would be the only way we knew how to coexist. Our kids are observing and absorbing everything they see us do, and kindness is apparent to them in how we treat others in our daily life, not in the lesson they did in advisory, or in a class. It is clear to them on how we treat those who help us keep our house nice and clean, or those who work with us, work for us or we work for. How we respond when a less fortunate person approaches our car to sell something or ask for a coin to survive. We show that we care about our peers when we do not skip in line in traffic, the grocery store or at the bank, disrespecting all others who are patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for their turn. 

We could spend years and years talking about how important it is to be kind and compassionate, and how inclusion is the way to go for a better world, but the moment we let our children see us committing an action that goes against what we believe, all that talk has gone to waste. We need to be kind and compassionate all the time if we truly are aiming for inclusivity to be the norm in our community, in our country, and even in our world.

Go Eagles! We can do this!