The main challenge I faced in my school was that, since I started teaching, I have never taught in an inclusive school. It was very difficult at the beginning meeting the needs of every learner in my classroom. I had to learn about inclusion and how to implement it. One year, I was given an IEP of 2 students in my class. This made me very confused because, firstly, I had never seen an IEP. I went forth to do some research. I learnt a lot about it, but implementation remained a problem until I came in touch with free Teach2030 online workshops talking about differentiation and inclusion in which I received post-event materials on how I could adapt lessons to suit the needs of all my learners. It was very helpful; I now prepare my lessons using the proposed strategies to support learners in my classes. These strategies were:
- Start every lesson greeting students; this has helped to enhance my students’ sense of belonging, and made the classroom environment less tense.
- Consider classroom space and arrangement; this too has helped to strengthen peer relationship, reduce noise level, mixed ability grouping. My lessons are now friendly and movement around the classroom has improved.
- Evaluate all learner voice; every learner in my class is considered and cherished, all my learners answers count, everyone is free to express him or herself and all their points are taken into account. I now prepare differentiated worksheets with the same content to meet the needs of the different learners in my class.
- Compassion and sensitive to all learners; here, I learnt to respect all my learners individually taking into account that they are coming from different backgrounds and cultures. My learners also respect me for that; they became very open with me, increasing trust, and I am always ready to give them a hearing ear.
This has really helped to shape the way I interact with my learners during lessons and out of classroom.
All feedback now counts, by making it specific to what went well, could be adjusted, done in a different way or need improvement.
Changing words changes your mindset.
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