Let's go ahead and process this tweet for a moment. Do we do this in schools? Have I done it? Have educators I look up to done it? Yes, yes, and yes. Trust me, we've done this without meaning to be...not sure of the word....mean, exclusive, lazy, thoughtless, or insensitive. Any of those words probably fit. There are probably others that you could offer.
Here is the thing, every kids wants to be included. Every kid should be. As parents, we want our kids to be accepted and welcomed and to belong. I remember dropping my daughter off at a dance intensive a couple of summers ago. I worried that she might not fit in with the other dancers in this new studio that she was visiting for the summer only. I actually pulled the instructor aside and I explained that my daughter was having difficulty getting up over her box on the left side (or so I had been told. I understand nothing in the world of Ballet). I wanted the instructor to know this about my daughter so that she might not be "found out" and "stand out" in class later on. He was a very passionate instructor with a no nonsense approach. He didn't speak to me gently. He wasn't about to coddle my daughter. He looked right at me and said, "every dancer, in this studio, and everywhere for that matter, has something she or he is working on." And that was it.
Every student comes with unique gifts, talents and struggles. Everyone has something they're working on. Period. We're all the same in that way.
The "what" we're working on may be unique and set us apart.
Some students have a plan that maps out some of the specifics when it comes to the "what.". For example, plans may include strategies and accommodations that should be used as they're proven effective in the past. Plans often map out how often and where a child receives support.
Kids are kids. They're all the same in that they're all working on something. Let's include them all. The ones with no plan and the ones with plans. I'm going to try to be far more aware of the language I use so that it is representative of what is in my heart. All kids belong in my room. I will work to make sure they all feel included and not like "other" because I've gotten callous with my language.
This is important to me.