Current Connections Blog

The reading that our learning circle focused on was three sections at the end of chapter 3. These sections were, Inclusivity is Not a Guessing Game, “I Believe You,” and On Behalf of Their Name. All three of these sections had a main theme: Including students in the classroom. Let them be heard. Let them feel wanted. Let them feel cared for. Let them feel human. To being with, Inclusivity is Not a Guessing Game by Chelsea Vaught, explores the issue of inclusion in the classroom. Specifically, how teachers acknowledge or treat diverse students (whether that is from religion, disability, or race). Students need to feel acknowledged by their teachers, especially when it comes to their identity, traits that make them who they are. The article I chose that talks about inclusivity in the classroom was, “Students With Disabilities Deserve Inclusion. It’s Also the Best Way to Teach” by Hannah Grieco from Education Week (Published May 7, 2019). This article focused on the issue of how teachers meet the needs of their students with different learning disabilities as well as working with the other students in their classrooms. This is so crucial for any level of education. Teachers find themselves juggling giving the right amount of attention to ALL their students, including the ones that are struggling a little bit more than others. It can be difficult for many students, who have a difficult learning pace, to feel excluded or incredibly different from the rest of their peers. On the contrary, many parents get frustrated that their child isn’t getting all the attention they need because of students who are struggling. So where is the balance? The bottom line is this: every student deserves to have the. chance to succeed. Not meeting that need, is not being a true educator. A true educator will make sure that what some may call a “little convenience” is actually empathy and perseverance. We, as teachers, have to give more to our students than just our bare minimum. We need to pour ourselves into them, and make sure that they understand that they have value. Along with making students feel valued, students need to be trusted. The section, “I Believe You” is so important to the environment of the classroom and the relationship between students and teachers. Not only letting students feel heard, they need to feel like we believe them, that we believe in them. Install trust at a young age, even when it is difficult. Teach them that they can trust you and that you can trust them. Make them feel like they can come to you, as their teacher, and tell them when something is wrong. It might be hard in the beginning, to determine whether or not a student is telling the truth, but the best way to do this is let them talk. Let them share, and then help find the root of the issue, whatever it may be. Connecting this with the idea of inclusivity, this is why it is so important to hear everyone’s perspective, whether you think they are right or wrong. Lastly, the section, On Behalf of Their Name, allows students to be confident in their identity, and feel respected in the classroom. It is hard for students to learn in a hostile environment, especially harassment because of the pronouns that they use. High school is the time that students are trying to find where they belong. They need to feel that they have a safe place to be themselves. Tying all of this together, students will thrive when they feel heard, wanted, included, and respected.

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