I have an inclusion classroom this year. This is great because I have a special educator who comes into the classroom to co-teach alongside me. Students in our classroom are able to receive all of their academic instruction in the classroom. Some receive accommodations so that they can access the curriculum and have opportunities to reach their full potentials. Still, there are EIGHTEEN pull out sessions scheduled for my students during the course of the week. In my mind, pull-out is a necessary evil. Without a doubt, there are kids who require therapies and counseling that cannot be delivered in the inclusion setting. Nonetheless, these most vulnerable students are missing out on what goes on in the classroom when they're not present. With 18 pull out sessions, there is no way I can possibly schedule all the important stuff when everyone is there. There simply isn't enough time in the week when I have all students to make this happen.
Here is what I can do. I can schedule the truly special stuff like #classroombookaday when everyone is in the classroom. This is no easy feat but working hard to make this happen is important to me. The other thing I can do is to build structures in the classroom to support these kids as they transition back into the classroom. I want them to know that they've been missed and I want them to make a smooth transition back into the classroom without drawing significant attention to themselves.
Because I use the Daily Cafe and math workshop I can structure my whole class instruction when most students are present but I also have the ability to meet one on one with students who miss instruction. This will certainly help students avoid feeling like they are missing out or falling behind.
Here is the hard part for me. I know that readers improve by reading and mathematicians improve by doing math. When these kids are out of the room they're doing less off both. They need to be out. I really do get it but it is so hard to accept the fact that they're getting less instruction and practice than their peers. My co-teacher and I will work to minimize the impact. I just wish there was another way.