Be an Aid in Change: Promoting Inclusion in Schools
“Inclusion” is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days, but it’s something that we haven’t really thought of a great deal. It’s one word that not only needs to be understood more but also applied in our daily life. The unfortunate thing is inclusion is often mistaken as tolerance or acceptance, but it should encompass more than those terms.
It is true that you need to be accepting of someone’s differences if you want to practice inclusion, but you also should ensure a harmonious environment that is welcoming where everyone has equal access to all rights and privileges. At first, it may be a hard concept to grasp as growing up, we have always been assigned with our niche depending on our personalities, attitudes, learning abilities, beliefs, and such. But the best thing about inclusion is that all those labels we have been associated with don’t matter.
In this modern era, it’s about time we make inclusion a natural part of our lives. We can be an instrument in this change right in our own schools. To do this, here are some suggestions to consider:
During classroom discussions, be more open-minded to those who might not share the same ideas as you. Remember that while you might not agree with their ideas, it’s always good to hear ,so prop up your ears and hear them out instead of having a litany of criticism for them. Showing how you respect others’ ideas can foster more engaging classroom discussions in the future.
Bring forward your curious self.
If you’ve got classmates you know you don’t share a lot of things in common with, the knee-jerk reaction is to avoid them altogether. However, you can respectfully try to find out more about them. For example, if you know someone is a vegan, a good convo- starter is to ask why they became a vegan. Once you get to know things from their perspective, it will help you gain more understanding and the new knowledge will help you become a more well-informed individual.
Initiate activities that everyone can be a part of.
During school breaks is when most students like you segregate into groups. Some may use the time to play a quick soccer match or two, while some use it for study time. What if you merge the activities like the study group asks the soccer players a question, and if they answer right, they can attempt to kick a goal. It will be interesting to see how brains and brawn can work together.
Be active in planning for school events.
Play an active role in planning for school events so you can ensure that everyone can be a part of them. If you are looking for volunteers or helpers, put up posters that are inviting and assure everyone that they can have their own contributions to make the event a success.
Our elders often tell us to mind our own business, but when it comes to the topic of exclusion, we should learn how to stand our ground. If you feel there are school activities that are not inclusive of everyone, let your voice be heard. If we keep silent, then no change will ever come.
There is no shortcut to setting inclusion in place. However, we can all take it step by step, and soon enough, we’ll have a world wherein our differences would no longer matter.