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How To Create an Inclusive Classroom
An inclusive and successful classroom is possible for all educators.
One of the biggest challenges facing educators today is facilitating a productive classroom environment for all, including special needs students. While television shows like Glee and Boston Public have highlighted the progress made in the public perception of special needs students, real world educators often struggle to incorporate a variety of challenged students into standard curriculum. What they may fail to realize is that many of these individuals respond to an increased amount of personal attention and similar activities just like traditional students. It is the educator's role to encourage learning and work with each student's individual abilities regardless of what age and level of student they are teaching. Teachers should focus on meeting each individual's needs and interacting with them in an understanding manner. Students with learning disabilities or physical disabilities can be incorporated into many public classrooms.
Get to know each student on a personal level. Incorporate daily class and social interactions to facilitate comfort and sharing. Allow children to get to know their classmates and each student's special needs.
Allow students to interact in a manner they choose and are comfortable with initially.
Promote team work and encourage the students to work together whenever possible so that they develop closer ties.
Invite parents and caretakers to visit on a particular day early in the semester to ease the children into the classroom environment. Give students an allotted time to introduce themselves to the class with the support and presence of their family.
Rearrange the classroom to create a more interactive environment. Have the students circle up regularly for discussions.
Include multicultural curriculum to encourage understanding across varying backgrounds. Encourage students to learn about other people's cultures and disabilities.