I recently went for an interview where I was asked what I thought was meant by a fully inclusive classroom. For the interview I had to do a 5 minute presentation to people who already worked in a brilliant SEN department to share what I thought, so I thought I would also share that here as well.
The problem with highlighting what it means to have an inclusive classroom begins with the fact that there are not set definitions for inclusion. This means that depending what document you read or which piece of research you look at inclusion may be classed as something slightly different. The result of this is that the various practitioners who are spending time in your classroom may also have a different view about what inclusion means to them.
All of that considered my vision for a fully inclusive classroom is one where the definition is agreed upon by all staff so everyone has the same goal to focus on. I also think that it is very important that we take a child centred approach putting as much focus on what the child wants as possible. By being very child centred we can then work with them to put measures in place to support any problems they may be facing but also ensure that we are celebrating successes regularly and using those to help the child reach their full potential.
Another aspect that is also really important is the need for the child to be fully integrated into the classroom. It is not fully inclusive if the child is just working alongside others in the room and is not part of the group. They should be encouraged to join in and measures should be put in place to enable them to do so. That does however mean that it also may be important to train the other students to understand their needs in order to help make this work, all too often the ability for children to understand is greatly underestimated.
In conclusion a lovely quote from Winnie the Pooh sums everything up in my opinion. Eeyore said "A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference."
I am a Maths teacher working in the UK. My blog started in February 2018 and I am using it to share ideas to help you in the classroom and to improve your work life balance. I also have some free course and resource along with my new tutoring agency.