You may feel like I’ve written about this before. And you’d be right, because I have. (Thanks for reading!)
If you recall, the focus of C is to Collaborate was around teachers making the time to work with others to make classrooms and lessons more inclusive. Working collaboratively is critical to ensuring that each student’s needs are met appropriately and successfully.
But we need to think bigger than the classroom, too.
When we think about the big picture of inclusion we need to focus on shifting the culture of a community. We need to change our organizational structures and systems in ways that support the needs and desires of all. Again, none of us can do the work of inclusion alone. I'm pretty sure that this should just be your new mantra. Go ahead; use it to develop a mindset of inclusion.
Because inclusion is a mindset.
Inclusion is the way we treat others and the way they treat us.
Inclusion is the opportunity to learn together and from one another.
Inclusion is an attitude, a way of thinking that opens doors to opportunities for meaningful engagement, contribution and belonging.
And none of us can do this work alone.
So maybe I’ve convinced you. You are reading this and nodding along. I’m glad you agree. But let’s be really honest here. It’s not enough.
You need to take the hard look around. Is your community as inclusive as it can be? What is standing in your way? What’s holding you back?
Is it a lack of resources? (READ: Affording Inclusion)
Is it simply not knowing where to start? (READ: Ten Steps to Make Your Congregation Inclusive)
Or is it some other myth that others buy into & perpetuate and you've yet to convince them to believe otherwise? (READ: Jewish Special Education Mythbusters)
Regardless, it is time to grab the partners who will help you to move the work of inclusion forward. Find the partners who will share your vision, but more importantly, find the partners who will genuinely help you to take steps to bring that vision to life.
Who will help you to see the forest through the trees?
Who will push you to think bigger?
Who will help you to recognize that incremental progress is still progress?
Grab partners. Take the steps. Inclusion is possible.
Stop by each week on Tuesday when I share a new post in this series. Yes, you are right, they will progress alphabetically. Better yet, Subscribe to Removing the Stumbling Block so you never miss a post: