By Daniela Carrillo
One of the greatest lessons as an Inclusion Assistant has been how inclusive education benefits all of us. If we believe in the idea that every student can learn and grow, inclusion makes it possible for every student to receive what she or he needs to develop their skills to the fullest. For students that have disabilities, it opens the opportunity to have access to an education that meets their learning needs, while being able to share a regular classroom and school activities with their peers. For students that do not have a specific disability, an inclusive education not only targets all student’s learning needs, but also helps them to become more conscious and empathetic about different kinds of diversity.
The relationships and connections between students and teachers are very important to achieve a truly inclusive environment at school. A place where every student feels accepted and loved will have a positive impact on learning. As Rita Pierson (2013) once said: “every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insist that they become the best that they can possibly be”. As teachers or parents we have to keep in mind the importance of building a relationship with our children and care about the success of each and every one of them.
Dr. Julian Maha (2017) said that even though we all look different, sound different and perceive the world in a different way, as human beings we all seek the same things: acceptance, inclusion and community. When we truly accept everyone just as they are, we create a safe environment where everyone feels free to think, do and say what they really want. Showing respect and making everyone feel like they belong, will really make a difference in our community, making it a better place to live for all of us.
Adopting an inclusion mindset gives us the opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other. Asking questions and getting to know more about a person that is different than you, can help us become more understanding, caring, and inclusive. Let’s continue to grow together to achieve an inclusive education and always remind ourselves that inclusion is for everyone.
We all seek the same sense of inclusion
Maha, J. (2017, September)
Every kid needs a champion
Pierson, R. (2013, May)