As of 2013, inclusion has become one of the hot issues discussed by society. Its wider notion is the ideology of embracing, and this notion narrows when we talk about a particular field.
What is inclusion in education? It’s the right of every student with special needs to attend their neighborhood schools and regular classes and the right to be supported to contribute to the life of their schools.
But including students with special needs into mainstream classrooms can be very difficult and challenging. These students often become the victims of bullying, which has recently become a burning issue in the US.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has reported that approximately 48% of students are bullied at school. Unfortunately, students with disabilities are included in this percentage because of the lack of understanding on the part of their peers.
But what can the teachers do? Which strategies to use to wash out the borders between children with and without disabilities in the classroom? Here are 5 major tactics.
GET FULL SCHOOL SUPPORT
Regularly talk to the principal and school management staff to organize school activities, which will unite students with and without disabilities. This way you will attract more attention of the school management to the problems you regularly face in the classroom.
Which activities exactly? It can be field trips which will unite all students together, or school picnics and thematic nights where you can discuss the problem of support.
Unfortunately, students without disabilities can be blind to the students with special needs. This way you can attract their attention and explain the importance of their support. This also may inspire students who are struggling to find their career path, to discover their mission in life.
MAKE SURE THAT ALL STUDENTS GET ACCESS TO THE TECHNOLOGY
In today’s world, it’s hard to imagine education without technology. The role of technology in education is huge, it’s the source of motivation, engagement and is the possibility for independent learning.
Inclusive education requires the access of all students to all resources, including technology. If the curriculum requires using computers or tablets during the class, all students should have the possibility to use these devices.
ENGAGE OTHER STUDENTS TO HELP YOU
How can you fully engage students without disabilities and help them better understand students with special needs? This is all about how you plan your classes and curriculum.
First, you can assign a student without disabilities to help students with special needs with their homework. This way you don’t only teach other students how to be compassionate, but they will also bond.
Also, during classes, you can also assign a student with good reading skills to help a student who struggles to read. Or also you can assign a student to help students with special needs to keep track of the deadlines and assignments, thus helping them better perform at school.
Bonding students through collaboration and help is a great way to make your class more organized and united. This way you will create a group of people who will stand for each other, support and trust one another.
ADJUST THE CURRICULUM
It’s not a surprise for many teachers that most of the curricula are designed for so-called “regular” students, without taking into account the specificity of teaching to the students with special needs.
Many teachers struggle to adjust curriculum for special needs students in inclusion classrooms. You may want to start with providing a calm atmosphere in the classroom, as chaos can provoke anxiety, which often makes students with special needs tune out and immediately affects their performance.
Breaking the program for each class into smaller chunks will help all the students in the classroom grasp the information better. Make the presentation of new material more visual, colorful and interactive. Explain with simple words and phrases. Embrace divergent thinking – all opinions must be welcome in your classroom.
These are only a few tips, but every classroom is very different, so don’t be afraid to rely on your creativity and intuition to choose what will be better for your students.
Your image is what affects the learning skills of all the students in the classroom. It’s important for the teacher to stay positive, even if you struggle to make your classroom a welcoming place for both students with and without disabilities.
Embrace their differences as they are all special. Show students without disabilities with your own actions how important it is to support students with special needs. Your actions must explain others that all students have equal rights and must have the opportunity to be equally engaged in the learning process.
And to conclude it all…
All members of the educational process, teachers, parents, students and school management staff should be equally interested in the successful educational process. This process should be based on collaboration and mutual respect to ensure that all students can fulfill their right for good education.
Lucy Benton is an editor, an assignment writer who finds her passion in expressing own thoughts as a blogger. She is constantly looking for the ways to improve her skills and expertise. Also Lucy has her own blog ProWriting where you can check her last publications. If you’re interested in working with Lucy, you can find her on Twitter.