Saturday, November 1, 2008

Inclusion That Works

I like Dylan, Mr. McGuire.  I like him and he likes me.  He's my friend, Mr. McGuire.
Laurelville has inclusion of handicapped students.  In other words, students with disabilities on an IEP (Individualized Educational Program) are mainstreamed into the regular classroom to the greatest extent possible.  I am a strong advocate of inclusion, both for the benefits of student on IEP's, and those in the regular classroom.
This year, there are two students included, with significant special needs.  They join us in homeroom, special classes like art, music, and P.E., and for part of Reading Workshop.  At the end of the first nine weeks, these students have made tremendous progress.  Part of this is due to a teacher's aide, C. Conrad that is motivated to help them to the greatest extent possible.
The real success story here though, is my homeroom.  I have never seen a group of students act so kindly towards classmates in need.  And all of the credit is theirs.  I have never had to tell them to be nice, or to be helpful.  They have just consistently made decisions that demonstrate caring and helpfulness.  I can't even describe how proud I am to be part of their success.
Standing out as a leader is Dylan.  He has a buddy at his side nonstop.  In class, when we come to the circle, at lunch, in the hallway, it doesn't matter.  And, he offers his friendship, keeps him out of trouble, gets him where he needs to go, tries to keep him quiet when he should be, and does it all in the kindest manner possible.  And his only reward, at least 3 or 4 times a day we hear:
I like Dylan Mr. McGuire, and he likes me.  I'm his friend, and he my friend, Mr. McGuire.  He's my buddy, Mr. McGuire.  I like Dylan, and he likes me.
I like Dylan, too!

3 comments:

Sandra Roberts said...

I noticed how well all the children got along when I came to class after the parade on Thursday. They had a great time playing games together and all had something special to contribute. I think their behavior gives us a glimpse of what caring adults they will be.

Seth R. said...

I think it's cool that Dylan is friends with this student. We all have problems, some you can see more than others. It's good that the student has a friend that he can talk to and enjoy. We all need to feel a part of something.

Jessika W. said...

Mr.McGuire,

Thank you for saying that we are a very nice class I love everyone in my class as a friend and every is nice to me. When I fell down the stairs and I twisted my ankle everyone helped me. Emma helped carrey my things and helped me get on the bus Bailey also helped. kara and destiny help me up and down on the stairs. So that really shows how much we are friends they are all very helpful in many big ways and even small ways. One small way is like if you do not have a pencil they will let you borrow it. I do think that our class is very smart and very nice in many ways.