On Monday I delivered CPD on making our classrooms more inclusive.
I shared quotes from the technical guidance on 2010 equalities act that says when it is not ok to exclude and why we need to make reasonable adaptations to our systems.
I shared extracts from the Scottish Standards for teacher registration that use the words ‘care for’ and ‘wellbeing’ and reference responsibilities of all.
I suggested 8 myths that we need to debunk:
* Things have never been this bad.
* This is not the right school for him.
* We can’t do anything until she gets a mental health diagnosis.
* If X gets away with this, the other pupils will think they can too.
* I am not a social worker and this is not my job.
* There is no hope for that child.
* There is a quick fix.
* (Mrs Carter is a soft touch)
I quoted from Jarlath O’ Brien’s book.
I gave examples of alternative differentiation, beyond giving pupils a laptop or printing handouts:
* Ignoring fidgeting
* When a pupil is late to class, dealing with it in a very low key way
* Having spare pencils ready for the pupil who always forgets
* Tactically ignoring non uniform
* Allowing the whole class to listen to music on headphones while working
I asked “why wouldn’t you? Are you afraid of looking soft or giving in?”
And I gave a task in groups of 3: think about the pupil who is causing you greatest challenge.
I asked them to consider:
Who? What? When?
Things tried so far?
What can I do now to help this child or young person?
What can my agency do to help this child or young person?
What additional help, if any, may be needed from others?
What do others suggest?
I then asked colleagues to pick one of the suggestions and try it over the next two weeks. Then to email the others with an update in 2 weeks.
And at the start, I asked a colleague to deliberately arrive late. When he did, I snapped at him to wait outside.
I then told the audience to wait then went outside and yelled at him in their hearing.
We came back in and deconstructed what had occurred and whether such adult behaviour would ever be acceptable in other workplaces.
• Why did I (teacher) respond like I did (initial and corridor response)
• Was the response ok?
• What could I have done differently?
• Why might the pupil be late?
• How did it make the pupil feel?
I also talked about the fact that in times of austerity, we need to work together to ensure that the needs of all pupils are met in the most effective and efficient way.
I played 3 songs:
We’re all in this together
When the going gets tough
All you need is love.
In their evaluations, some staff were very positive and said that the session had been very informative. Others were less positive and seemed to have felt patronised. Some felt (rightly) that there was too much of me talking and not enough time for them to talk and share.
My conclusion was that, as with pupils, one size does not fit all and that I perhaps need to look more carefully at tailoring what are scarce CPD opportunities to suit individual CPD needs.
As follow up, I am sharing these links with staff tomorrow as my Friday Thoughts:
I felt a bit like a lone lunatic, but I hope I might have made a difference to some.