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Kelsey Boulton - #2 Reflection on Inclusion

Inclusive education brings all students together in one classroom, regardless of their strengths or weaknesses in any area, and aims to maximize the potential of all students. Each and every student within a classroom has different needs and wants that the teacher must strive to fulfill. As a future teacher, I believe all students regardless of their ability/disability should have the opportunity to participate in an inclusive education system. Given my beliefs on the importance and benefits of inclusive education, I would not remove any of the students with exceptionalities from the classroom. The statistics we were provided at the inclusion workshop indicate that in a typical school of 500 students about 277 are considered to be students with exceptionalities. Given these statistics, it is not unlikely for a teacher to have a class similar to the one described in the hypothetical situation. The dynamics of the class described in the hypothetical situation would inevitably provide any teacher with an exceptional challenge, but I believe with the proper use of resources and supports a teacher would be able to deal with the potential challenges. I believe an inclusive classroom can be created for this class through the appropriate use of IPPs, differentiating instruction and a supportive learning team (teacher assistants, school psychologist, vision consultant, etc.). Each of the students described in the situation will have unique individual needs and wants which will need to be met. The other 20 students in the class will also have unique needs and wants that will need to be met. It is up to the teacher to incorporate a variety of instructional strategies to meet the needs and wants of all students within the classroom. It is important for teachers to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses and areas of need for each of their students to determine which instructional strategies will work best within their dynamic classroom. To defend my decision to the parents I would begin by explaining my beliefs about the importance and benefits of providing students with an inclusive education. I would explain my teaching philosophy to the parents and let them know that I am prepared to take all the steps necessary to ensure their childs needs and wants are met. I believe I would have a much harder time defending my position if my choice was to remove two of the students from the classroom. Given the facts presented in the hypothetical situation, it would be extremely difficult for me to decide which two of the students would be given the opportunity over the other students. I believe choosing to remove two of the students with exceptionalities from the classroom would raise a lot of questions and concerns among the parents of the two students being removed as well as the parents of the students that would remain within the classroom. I believe the classroom could function inclusively with the current students, but it would be essential to incorporate a team approach with all available support and teaching staff.