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Teaching your students to be inclusive in the classroom
An inclusive classroom environment is built upon mutual respect for both the students and teacher. Each classroom has students of different cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and with unique learning challenges. Furthermore, according to the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, students with disabilities have the absolute right to a high-quality early childhood education. In order to make your classroom more inclusive for your disabled students, here are a few helpful suggestions:
Be open about differences: As the instructor, it is your goal to help your students understand that everyone learns differently. Some require additional assistance to complete their work, which is how they learn the material best. You can explain to your students that everyone is special, which makes no one better or worse than the rest.
Recognize similarities: On the other hand, similarities exist within even the most diverse classroom, and these commonalities must be celebrated. Encouraging inclusive playtimes, group work, and storytelling will help promote this goal.
Embrace acceptance: As their educator, you can model acceptance by showing your students that it is never okay to discriminate against their peers or anyone else. Treating all of your students equally goes a long way in the eyes of young children who learn from you about how to treat others. If you accept differences, they will learn to do the same.
ProSolutions Training offers dozens of online child care courses, like "Understanding Inclusion in Early Childhood Settings," for interested early childhood education professionals. Contact us today to learn more!