Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Reflection from Day 1 of #iSummitWisco18

I have had a jam packed week or so of inspirational PD. I participated in the first ever #HiveSummit and found myself energized after watching each video. To put this in context, I watched most of them while on an elliptical at the gym and felt like I could keep on going, even after the 45 minute or so video was over. Today was day one of the iSummit. This is a conference put on by my district to celebrate and push the conversation towards inclusive education. Being a special education teacher, these are my people, my tribe that I need to learn from so I can be better equipped to have those tough conversations with people who have differing views about inclusive education.

Today, we heard from Julie Causton and Shelley Moore. Oh my goodness...Shelley Moore. I could listen to her speak all day. Her way of telling stories and driving points home was inspirational. I was trying to Tweet, take notes and pay attention all at the same time and couldn't seem to make it all happen because I was too afraid I'd miss something. There was so much to reflect on...I don't possibly have enough time here to dive into all of it so I'm picking my top three take-aways.

First, this is the most powerful reason for the WHY behind inclusive education I've ever seen. As educators, we can't teach to the middle because we'll end with the 7-10 split. You just really need to watch this short 3 minute video.

Second, we were asked to ponder this question:  How many of us are refined at a practice you don't believe in?  YIKES!  How many things to do I do everyday that I don't really believe in but do because of outside pressure to conform, please parents, keep the peace between students, look good in case an evaluator just shows up...I've been in plenty of situations where we were pretending inclusive practices were happening but in reality, it was just integration.
Image result for inclusion exclusion segregation integration

Finally, my third big thought to ponder was being intentional. For inclusive education to be successful, there needs to be intention behind it. What is the personal, social and intellectual purposes behind the learning experiences? This grid was provided to help us organize our thoughts and intentions.

Inclusion is about increasing places with purpose over time. This got me thinking about how I approach IEPs for students with intellectual disabilities, behavior and all the work I do with behavior mapping with one of my students with Autism. I feel like I've done a behavior map for every location at school but I know there will always be more because life doesn't just happen at school. I'm going to need to look at more experiences in the community. By creating these behavior maps, I'm intentionally teaching behavior strategies in an authentic environment, providing opportunities to reflect and am constantly increasing the places with purpose. After hearing Shelley Moore's message, I'm feeling more confident in what I'm doing and am motivated to keep moving forward to find more places.

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