Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Next Frontier: Inclusion Workshop Final Day

The third day of The Next Frontier: An Inclusion Workshop "Building a Culture of Inclusion" is the last day of a well-designed, well-thought out workshop for learning support teachers from all over the world. Here's what we did:

  • Structured Class Visits. We visited classrooms from 8:30 in the morning until 10. I joined the group that chose to visit middle school classrooms. It is always beneficial to see how other teachers and professionals do their jobs: teach in the classrooms. The ISM Learning Support Model has co-teaching models, clustered teaching loads for teachers, mainstreaming, push-ins and pull-outs and skills class like strategy instruction. as a given, differentiated instruction is a way of life for ISM classes. 
  • Debriefing session. We had a thirty-minute discussion on the experience we had, insights gained, confirmation of revelations on learning support practices. In one of the carousel groups, one lady from Japan hushed "We all are believers here, what about the non-believers?" To which I replied "We always are confronted with the non-believers in our practice, we always handle them in creatively in a lot of ways".
  • Poster Sessions. Another carousel activity but this time your on your own. Topics were: Managing Data; Student IEP's; Educational Assistants; School-based Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Pathology; Case Study Presentation from Beacon Hill School of Hong Kong. I joined in the interview/open forum for school-based OT's and SLP's.     
  • Lunch. Great food again.  
  • The Horse's Mouth. Another carousel discussion. Topics were: Practical and Logistical Issues: Finances, Admissions and Leadership; Host Country Resources; Service Delivery Model; Modifications and Accomodations; Record Keeping Software; The Next Frontier: Next Steps. 
  • Plenary Panel Discussion: Building a Culture of Inclusion. ISM Stakeholders shared their thoughts on Inclusion in schools.
  • Closing and Reflection. Here's a cognitive coaching statement to be filled: "I used to think __________________________but now I think _______________________________. The first thing that I will tell my colleagues when I comeback is ____________________________.   
We were given a thumb-drive/flash disk that contains all of the workshop materials and a hard copy of The Next Frontier: Inclusion A Practical Guide for School Leaders. 

Thanks to everyone who made the three-day workshop a successful endeavor. Thanks to Bill, Oshan and Kristen! Great job people! 

On to the next step. 

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