Moving Toward Inclusion: Guest Post by Michy of Loving Our Journey

 I am so very proud to introduce Michy, from Loving Our Journey!  Michy has a wonderful perspective in educating children with special needs.  I personally enjoy her refreshing view, as our family has 3 children with varying special needs.  Michy is a homeschooling mom with a background in Special Education.

So, pull up a seat and grab a cup of tea (or hot chocolate or coffee), and enjoy!

Moving Towards Natural Inclusion

“He’s my friend.”  “She just needs me to read this to her.”  “It’s okay, I’m here to help.”

A dream world of support from one child to another.  That’s my goal, my hope, my dream for “inclusion”.  I hope one day to not need to write about it…that it becomes as natural as what you’ve read above.

What is inclusion?  In the simplest definition, inclusion is when children with special learning needs are educated with their same age peers, rather than seperating children based on their skill level. Historically, children who demonstrated significant difficulty learning were sadly living in institutions away from their families or taught in seperate classrooms from their peers.

As a new Special Education teacher in 2001, I fell into the new push for inclusion in Connecticut, due to the P.J. court case.  This meant many passionate meetings to design, plan, and implement “including” students, specificially those who were diagnosed with an intellectual impairment, in the classroom.  The problem was that classroom teachers had little experience in teaching these students, as they had often been taught by “specialists” such as myself.  Yet, these kids were still kids…with a need to belong!

I worked intensely for years to teach students in a separate resource room while also fufilling a new role:  to provide full consultation services to classroom teachers, gym teachers, art teachers, cafeteria workers, administration, everyone.  I needed to provide graduate level tips on how to not only teach the children, but more importantly….foster a natural learning social environment for all children.  God blessed me with energy and passion for this role.

Today, districts hire “inclusion facilitators”…a job that truly fits the old saying “teaching is an art”.

I loved, loved, loved teaching Special Education, and supporting students and teachers….but I wish it was natural.  I wish it didn’t take extensive planning for every lesson.    In some cases, with the right match of teachers and students, it becomes natural.  The learning flows and is so powerful!

The words that will really indicate the progress of joining all God’s children together are these…

“He’s my friend.”  “She just needs me to read this to her.”  “It’s okay, I’m here to help.”

Michy is a Christian Stay At Home mother writing with passion about her loves: faith, parenting, and healthy living.  She is a past Special Education teacher and Elementary Literacy Specialist who loves learning.Please visit her on facebook or at her Loving Our Journey blog where she hosts Faithfully Friday Parenting Linky Party.

Joyfully shared at:

Growing Home

A Mama’s Story