An inclusive environment provides every student with the support and motivation they need to thrive and excel in their learning experience. In an inclusive classroom, you can set your differences aside and work together as a community to help each student shine and make the most of the learning opportunities at their disposal.
Here’s how teachers and staff can work together and create an inclusive classroom to increase collaboration among students, improve their social skills, and help foster respect toward one another:
Create a supportive environment
Creating a supportive environment is essential for your students as it makes them feel safe and encouraged. It is important in improving students’ academic, social, and emotional learning and development.
To provide a supportive environment to students, you can:
- Appreciate all students’ contributions
- Encourage positive communication with each other
- Provide academic support to students that need help, like offering extra tutoring sessions
- Ensure students feel comfortable while sharing their thoughts
- Provide emotional support to students when needed
Consider enrolling in a special education graduate certificate program
Enrolling in a graduate certificate in special education online will help you gain relevant tools and resources to develop your teaching skills and provide support to differently-abled students. It will help you become proficient in creating instructional methods that help differently-abled students grow and thrive in an educational setting. You can also gain the skills to help your students become independent learners and boost their motivation, self-esteem, and learning capabilities.
Since the course is online, you can study from the comfort of your home and create a better work-life balance.
Making classrooms more diverse is important for creating an inclusive environment for all students. It helps teachers and students respect each other and value different cultures.
There are many ways to make classrooms more diverse. For example, organizing different cultural events at school can help improve students’ understanding of cultural diversity and help them embrace their peers regardless of their differences. Including books related to people with different abilities, cultures, and backgrounds can help create an inclusive and tolerant learning environment in the classroom.
You can also plan your lessons in a way that helps students better understand other religions, cultures, races, and languages. This will make students become empathetic toward their peers, be open-minded, and ultimately become adults who value and respect everyone around them.
Adopt a community approach
A community approach creates a positive learning space that allows students to grow academically. It creates a community where students feel safe, accepted, and supported. Adopting a community approach is effective when creating an inclusive learning environment in the classroom. This approach highlights collaboration and mutual support among students and establishes a community where students feel more valued and respected.
Adopting a community approach has many benefits that increase the overall learning experience and a student’s personal growth outside the classroom. For instance, community members can have a say in decision-making, manage discipline, and resolve conflicts. In a classroom community, members can exercise control and become responsible stakeholders who do their part in making their classrooms a better place.
Understand the multiple learning styles
Using multiple learning strategies is essential for creating an inclusive classroom. It is the key to ensuring every student has access to learning resources and makes the most of them. It’s important to note that implementing just one teaching method for a community of learners will not work for everyone. That’s because some students are auditory listeners while others may learn better using images and videos to learn new concepts.
There are 4 types of learners that include the following:
- Visual learners
Visual learners absorb information better when presented as diagrams, colors, maps, etc. Teachers can use smartboards to communicate their ideas and new concepts to visual learners.
- Auditory learners
These learners learn most effectively by recording lectures and listening to them later to reinforce their learning. Moreover, they may also say things out loud to help themselves memorize better.
- Kinesthetic learners
Also called tactile learners, kinesthetic learners learn best by doing things or experiencing them. Teachers can accommodate them by including movement in their lessons or by letting them act out scenes from stories.
- Reading/writing learners
These learners learn new concepts by writing them down or reading more about them.
Deal with discriminatory behavior in the classroom
Discrimination can have a profound impact on students who are on the receiving end of it. It can later lead to mental health problems and affect their motivation to attend school. It’s important to take disciplinary action to deal with discriminatory behavior in the classroom to contain it and help everyone feel respected.
Discrimination can manifest as prejudice against people from different cultural backgrounds and lead to bullying at school or in the classroom. To contain it, school staff and teachers can sit together to draw up an anti-bullying policy that lays down the rules for everyone, including the staff, teachers, students, etc. Teaching students about different religions, races, ethnicities, and minorities can also prevent discriminatory behavior.
Listening is important
Listening to your students makes them feel heard and understood. Every child has a unique point of view that should be heard and appreciated because when they are being listened to, they feel included and admired. It also encourages them to come forward with new ideas, voice their opinions, and improve their self-esteem.
You can make students feel heard or valued by encouraging open and positive communication in the classroom. It can help students hear and respect others’ opinions and teach them more about amicable conflict resolution.
Creating an inclusive environment in the classroom begins with incorporating cultural diversity in the curriculum, cultural literacy, and being a good listener. Working with the staff, parents, and students, teachers can lay the groundwork for an inclusive classroom where everyone respects and values others’ opinions and differences and paves the way for a better tomorrow.