Today’s quote –

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others

-Plato

When I read this quote the first thing I said to myself if “Who knew that Plato would be into Inclusion and Inclusive education?” For those not in the know, “Inclusion education” is exactly what it sounds like. Children of all different abilities (or some with disabilities) are included in the same classroom. The textbook definition of Inclusion education will tell you things about the “Least Restrictive Environments,” ratios and “IEP’s.” What anyone needs to know is that it’s a way to merge general education and special education.

I’ve seen some classrooms where inclusion works. The children work together to help each other, and the weakest members of the class or those classified as disabled work well with each other. Two years ago, I built an a truly inclusive class. I poured hours over an oversized class roster. I checked the list of IEP’s and considered the student without them. The 21 students in my class rocked and rolled. They cared about each other and their assignments. They worked pass language barriers.

And then I’ve seen classes where the teacher is overworked, and the class size roster is near its limit and the amount of education being done amounts to snapped pencils and frustration by all.

But focus not be good, right? Especially since all education is moving to inclusion being the norm. Plato’s quote is something for all teachers really. Who doesn’t believe that all students have the capability to be good students. Good teachers do. They worry and stress that maybe they haven’t gotten their points across to their classes. Students do know genuine good teaching. They look forward to the test and sense of accomplishment that

they feel from their teacher(s.) after they receive their grade(s.) Anyone can recall a favorite lesson one of their teachers brought to the class, and how the light bulb went on above their head. Mine was in 8th grade when Ms. Burke let us dress up as important historical figures from 1865-1910 and we had a dinner party run by Princess Lillikulani of Hawaii. I was William Heart. I recall that during the party I yelled “Remember the Maine! To Hell with Spain-” a popular expression from the turn of the century and the Spanish American War. This was good teaching by Ms, Burke, who guided us through our script about historical significant events. We students had created the scripts and brought the party drinks and chips. It was fun and educational. It was because of the promise of more lessons like that I looked forward to social studies and learned each day, even when the class wasn’t as dynamic.

So to end this, I know there is good in every student, and as long as I can keep returning to this idea after being tested by tough students, I think I’ll be ok.

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