It is exciting to go around PHRD to see what great things are happening with respect to Inclusive practice. It is an honor to work with so many teachers that are passionate, life long learners willing to look at various ways to connect and engage students.
My blog posts will focus on this journey. I am excited to have been given the opportunity to engage in a 14 day professional learning experience with 4 other PHRD colleagues. Colleen Toews, Margaret Benham, Michelle Rau and Raimie Drake and myself are involved in the "Teaching To Diversity" training that ERLC is hosting. Jennifer Katz came for 4 days at the end of September with the balance of the 14 day training occurring in January and April. The focus of the initial training sessions was around Block 1 of her model. This first block examines social and emotional learning. It is all about building compassionate learning communities, using the Respecting Diversity Program that she outlines in her book, Teaching To Diversity, and on her website as well as democratic classroom management. http://www.threeblockmodel.com/_
Many teachers across the division are implementing Block 1 practices with their students in their classroom. Creating environments that provide a sense of belonging, a sense of self-worth and awareness of the strengths and challenges of others, helps students develop the collective responsibility for the well-being of all. Isn't that what Alberta Education is speaking about with the "Inspiring Education" document and the Ministerial Order? We want Ethical citizens, Engaged thinkers with an Entrepreneurial spirit!
I hope to highlight the time I am spending with a grade 3 classroom to 'practice' my learning this year. It is very exciting to see students think about their strengths and the strengths of others in their community. As Jennifer Katz articulately states, "We will not have inclusive societies if we do not first have inclusive schools."
This blog and resources website has been developed through the work of various AISI coaches in PHRD. The lead collaborative teachers for the 2015/2016 school year, Cheryl Frose, Christine Quong and Tammy Tkachuk will continue to update this site. If you have resources you would like to share or would like to contribute to the blog, please contact us.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada License.