Inclusive Education: Changing Seasons, Systems, & Practices

Teacher and school kids discussing over laptop in classroom

Winter is upon us once more and as we change our clothes, replace our sandals with boots, adjust to shorter days, and perhaps put winter tires on our vehicles, we are reminded of the constant changes in our lives. Some people relish the changing season, while others bolt all the shutters, and some even escape to sunnier climates. However you feel about it, constant change surrounds and can bring vitality, excitement, and challenge.

From December 6-10, we are celebrating National Inclusive Schools Week. Throughout history, our education system has siloed and segregated students. As we know, change is not happening fast enough. Reflecting on the changing season, the demands of students, of their families, and the growth in yourself as an educator; we strongly encourage you to consider and celebrate the variability, not disability, of each of your students. The first step in creating more inclusive schools is ensuring a sense of belonging and the second step is honoring the strengths in learning differences. It is our moral imperative as educators to make sure that every child is seen, valued, and held to high expectations.

Change means letting go of the one-size-fits-all motto. Change means offering pathways and choices for learning. Change means presuming competence for all students.

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
– Albert Einstein

Let us indulge and celebrate each student’s variability and voice they bring to the classroom. Let us humble ourselves enough to admit if we don’t yet know our students as well as we should. We have plenty of opportunities to continue to make connections with our students and families, build meaningful relationships, and use what we know to design lessons. Each of us is a change agent. However small it may be, there is always a way to start creating the change you want to see in your school.

For more resources, reach out to the Inclusionary Practices Coordinator in your region or register for professional learning courses via the AESD website.