Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Next Frontier: Inclusion Workshop Day 2

The second day of The Next Frontier: An Inclusion Workshop "Building a Culture of Inclusion" is was another great day for everyone. We covered everything that was published on our daily bulletin which included:

  • Establishing a common language. A review of the first day's sessions and a road map for the day ahead. We were asked to write keywords relating to what an inclusive school is and share them to our group for a minute. And after this we had to write our personal belief about it too for two minutes. 
Here is my output:

Inclusion is...

To include.
Not to exclude.
To enjoy everyone's triumph.
To celebrate someone's victory.
To be part of.
To be in.

And then to close the session on establishing a common language, here are two statements worth remembering when you want inclusion to be part of your school culture:

"Use person first language"
"Not about us without us"

  • De-Mystifying Special Education.  We were asked to choose 3x 30 minute sessions in carousel to join out of four and I chose the following: Dyslexia, ADD/ADHD and Cognitive and Developmental Delays. I dared not join the Autism Spectrum  for the simple reason that I've lived my life with my brother who has autism and I feel like I'm drowning with all the info's on autism.
  • Deciding to Teach Them All. This session had a homework part. e were asked to read up on the article called Deciding to Teach them All. The classroom part was really interesting. We were asked to highlight one sentence that we strongly feel about, whether its positive or not. And then We take turns in saying anything and everything we want about the highlighted sentence laid on the table by one of the group members. The simple rule was: NO CROSS TALK! This means when one is talking, everyone listens. As member of this kind of learning group, one has to think about the topic on hand, listen to your group members and allow the universe to talk to you. This is a great take-away for teachers. 
  • Reflection and Preparation. The final two sessions before lunch. We were asked to reflect upon the morning activities and write questions for parents and students receiving learning support in ISM.
  • Inquiry Lunch. This one is really nice. We got to enjoy nice tasting food plus we shared job-alike tables and this meant popcorned stories of job practices from different perspectives. Nice one!
  • Student panel. Six ISM students on Learning Support Program were invited for a question and answer. Fantastic insights from the students!
  • ISM Learning Support Resource Team Model. A video presentation of how the learning support team at ISM does their team meetings. The audio was buzzy and this led me to zzzzzzzland.
  • Parent panel. Another question and answer this time with the parents of students in the Learning Support Program.      
  • Closing and Reflection. Final session for the day. We were tired and yet satisfied. We were asked for plusses and wishes. The day that was and for the 3rd and final day.
That's it pansit!

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