Thursday, May 3, 2012

BADD - Blending In!

I am late on my post for Blogging Against Disabilism Day (BADD), but as I sit on a Thursday evening, writing this post, I think it was worth the wait.

It's 9:30, on a Thursday evening, and I've just come from my school's 5th Grade Musical.  This tradition was started by our current music teacher, and each year has become more and more elaborate and wonderful.  The kids have looked forward to it literally for months, and tonight they shined!

This is actually the first year that I, as a self-contained special education teacher, was involved.  This week of course was very busy, with rehearsals, getting tech set up, and continuing to teach in the classroom.  During all of this craziness, I was only able to help with part of rehearsals.  It was during one of the time I was able to help that I had a very wonderful, amazing moment.  I looked up on stage, to see 100+ 5th graders, and I couldn't see my students!  They had blended in and were a part of the musical and there was no telling them from any other student up there!

I couldn't have been prouder!

What did I see?  I saw, kids who have known my students from 3 years old, stepping in and helping them, with no adult guidance.  I saw students giving high fives and clapping for each other.  I saw kids in costumes.  I saw kids, not special ed students and general ed students, just kids!  It was awesome.

I've always been of the opinion that we provide services on a continuum for a reason.  I see a place in our schools for inclusion, push-in models, self-contained, and even more restrictive settings.  But today, all I could see was the benefit, to all students, that they had a chance to get know each other, and be kids!

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