Diversity and Inclusive Practice

As much as this post is part of #blogsync and Connected Educator Month… it is always valuable to reflect on my practice… the purpose of this blog!

What is diversity?

Diversity is concerned with individual differences such as ethnicity, socio-economic background, home language, gender, special needs, disabilities, and giftedness.

What is inclusion?

Inclusion is one of the eight principles set out in the New Zealand Curriculum. It is about valuing all students and all staff in all aspects of school life. It involves removing barriers to presence, participation, and achievement.

So what does diversity and inclusive practice look like for me as an educator?

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1. Building supportive relationships so students know I care about them and their lives outside of school.

I do this through getting to know my students… our morning ‘korero’ sessions where who ever has something to tell us from the previous day/evening is given their opportunity to share…it teaches great listening skills and respect and shows that everyone has stories which are important… these sometimes carry on for 30 minutes!     

2. Supporting the participation of all students.

I do this firstly by creating a culture in my room where we ALL have a growth mindset…that mistakes are how we learn…that challenges mean we need to persevere… where we support others who have taken a risk… where we all know that everyone learns differently and at varying rates...

3. Having high expectations of ALL learners regardless of individual circumstances.

I do this through actively encouraging students for more… not accepting the first go… fostering a growth mindset  in each and every student… teaching the students to have high expectations of themselves…

4. Adopting a diverse constructivist approach (Au, K.H.) to pedagogy which allows all students to experience success as themselves

I do this through careful, continuous analysis and understanding about where my students are at… by providing learning experiences which relate to their diversity… by providing opportunities for students to connect to other learners…by fostering ownership of their learning (through creating some of their own timetable, opt-in lessons, personal goal-setting, and self-assessment) and behaviour (through focus on PB4L)… by having students teach other students… by sharing power… by embracing kaupapa Maori…

5. Demonstrating an awareness of the particular needs of students.

I do this by finding out about who they are… being open and approachable so my students know they can talk to me… putting in place routines to help them manage self…

6. Being aware of the challenges and barriers to parents, whānau or families’ involvement.

I do this by creating a relaxed atmosphere and making myself available for parents and whanau on their terms…

7. Acknowledging cultural identity and values and encouraging the inclusion of these as part of the school’s culture and practice.

I do this by being informed about best practice for diverse learners… by sharing values and practices with my colleagues and students of our school…

8. Developing relationships with parents, whānau and families.

I do this through our ‘meet whanau’ evening…sharing information via our class blog…  having open communication… following up concerns or issues… contacting families for the GOOD stuff so parents are more confident about coming to the school…

9. Involving everyone in the education and social well-being of the student.

I do this by including teachers, aides, families and whānau, home liason, and specialists as well as the student to ensure everyone is working together…

 

 

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