“Well, what you said sounds good but it’s difficult to implement.”
When I mention about inclusive education, many people have said that. Yes, it is hard to accept a change of the status quo, unless we know the importance of it.
The question is how you inform such an importance?
Among various media through which we can be informed on this like books, journals, or 200-page-long report, I found something which I think is a great source—the real voice of kids telling the importance of inclusion through a contest.
According to an article of Digital Journal “In Celebration of National Inclusive Education Month Community Living Ontario Proudly Announces ‘Together We’re Better’ Contest Winners“, the contest invited elementary school aged students from across Ontario to submit a video (class) or poem (individual student) expressing why having students who have an intellectual disability should be included in regular classes alongside students who do not have a disability. Students were asked to create a video or write a poem demonstrating how:
- students of all abilities are included;
- everyone is creatively involved;
- we all benefit from our unique and individual contributions.
○The 1st place of the video section: St John the Evangelist school in Woodslee Ontario (Grade 3, 4 class).
○The 1st place of the poem section: Paige Keith (11 years old)
I wake up in the morning with a great big grin. It’s Monday, and school is about to begin. Soon we’re in the car and I can’t wait to see all of my grade two besties.
Once we arrive, I run towards the red doors leading into the school, and beat my mom and Paige every time. I run down the hall; Paige hot on my trail. Rounding the corner to my classroom, I throw off my outdoor clothes. A greeting frenzy erupts from my classmates as I race into room 168, ready for yet another mind-bending adventure this week.
I love my teacher, she’s great! I wonder what she has planned for us to learn today? I hope we do something that involves paper, glue, and scissors, because I am a pro at cutting. Snack time is my absolute favorite, but recess is a close second. During recess, I explore, laugh, play games and make new friends.
Sometimes we have music or library but my best subject is gym because I love to run, and Paige is convinced that I am the fastest runner that she has ever seen!
What makes school the best is that people treat me like me. They like me for who I am, and in my sister’s opinion I’m the most popular girl in school.
Oh did I mention I have Angelman syndrome and can’t speak? But you couldn’t tell, because being included makes being different look a whole lot like being normal!
○I also like the 4th prize’s poem made by Alexis Rabbie (10 years old),
Never bully others
You can see the top 5 poets on here
I wish some kind of change would happen with these voices.