Inclusion and Academia – The bitter sweet symphony

“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” 

  Thomas A. Edison

I  decided to use this quote, because this year was ninety-nine percent of perspiration in my life, I mean, it really was…

First, I had great moments that I have already described in this blog. Doing an online MA is not that easy as I thought. It takes discipline, autonomy, self-control  and hardworking efforts. Most of the time, you have to review some concepts that it is no longer appropriated to your project. You have to understand the point of view of your advisor who is not in the same context that you are and, it can be frustated but in some situations a relief. The life in the Academia is a bitter sweet symphony.

Second, when you challenge yourself to another level, you have to face it. There is no turning back. In May, I enrolled for a teacher position at one of the most important University in Brazil. I passed at the 4th place, it really surprised me and I felt very happy. I am working with a group of amazing professionals who I have been learning and sharing with them all.  I teach nowadays English for Academic Purpose – EAP.

Third, I have the chance to put into practices what I have been doing since 2011. The first day at the University, I was heading to my class, when a young-blondie-girl around her 20 somethings asked me – ‘Where is the room F-205?’. I told her that I was going to the same classroom and she asked me in just one-minute-conversation at least 10 questions…

She told me that she was very anxious to learn how to write a paragraph, because of her TCC. In fact, I did not realize that she would come to me at the end of the class and reveal that she was diagnosed with ADHD some months ago and for the first time she was comfortable enough to exposure herself with a ‘Professor’*. It really caught me by surprised! Therefore, I welcomed her to my class.

I reckon that she did not miss more than 2 lessons in a schedule of 14 meetings. She used to carry with her a heavy-backpack full of papers and folders in different colors for each subjects.It was awkward situation, because the other students stopped to see her desperately seeking  for something in her bag.

There was the moment that she got lost with her papers, and she almost panicked. After that, I asked her to wait for some minutes after the class and, we talked a little bit and  I gave her a pack of post-it. I suggested her to start writing her routine in that small papers; from morning to evening; and create a to-do-list. If something she forgot to do in the previous day, she should put for the next day in priority.

She took this suggestion as an advice. She showed me how she had improved herself, that heavy-backpack full of stuff, now it was light with just few things that she really needed for each day at the university.

Not only she improved herself to her routines, but also her focus on studying. Her paragraph was easier to understand, she developed her concentration in some specific moments during the class, what helped her a lot during her writing process.

When our course finished, she sent me an email, saying that she was feeling more confident and less anxious. That email made my day, weeks and gave more strength to move on. Besides, I was ready for my new group. I reckoned with someone who did not conclude the previous course, one could join this it again…. and it happened.

One of those students who quit the course had returned and, it was the most enigmatic one. He attended some classes from the previous course but suddenly he disappeared. I sent some emails asking him to come back but no answers, nothing at all. I thought that, he did not like the course, maybe because it was easy or diffucult, lots of question were in my head.

The first-day for this new group had arrived and he was there. I felt very happy, he gave me a second chance what I hold on to. I decided to create some activities to engage the whole class.  Now with this group, I should be more patient.

Some of them were threatened to speak in English. They were afraid of making mistakes IMG_0856and their classmates could laugh at them. I told them that the course was ‘writing production’. However, in some situations I would like to work with them some speaking activities just for brainstorming the ideas to write, otherwise it would be very boring. So, they accepted my proposal.

I thought that he would not accepted my request and with his “limitted english” (he argued that) he was interacting with the other students, putting his point of view and participating with the whole classrrom now.

That was fabulous, but one thing was not right. There were some moments in the class that, he did not understand some jokes presenting in the activities. One of those jokes, it was the adjective “stubborn” and the text gave the example “like a mule” he could not understand the meaning behind these two contexts in the text. He understood literal meaning. He thought the text was offensive.

It was the moment that I realized that something was not as it seems. There were some social behavior conflicts, visual contact surrounding his attitudes.   I could not ask him if he has autism, because he could feel uncomfortable.

So, I decide to explain the text in a different way. As some of the students did not understand the word stubborn, I tried to use real examples to come up with the meaning, using famous people attitudes, memes and, BINGO! Everybody else got it!  In that was the day, my perspiration works a lot! 

Besides, the class was very challenging for some of them, everyone learned something including myself. At the end of the class, he asked me to talk a little bit, and in a certain time, he told me his story of overcoming barriers, stigmas and diveristies.

He is an Asperger adult, he was diagnosed in 2010, he entered to the university through the accessibility process of Berenice Piana’s Law  (This is a brazilian law which gave all people with autism spectrum access to study in regular schools and universities across the country, it is a federal law).

That day, I was in his eyes my son. I looked at him and I said “I am here to help you, please do not turn away, it is difficult but you will get it. Look at yourself and see where you are now.” And today in a rainy saturday night, I am correcting his 2nd paragraph. Updating this post, he concluded the course with flying colors!

I write this post full of joy, because I can feel what their parents went through to get him in this stage. It is challenging  and demanding  to raise kids with disabilities in many parts of the world. It is  tough to plan their future and most of the time difficult is to include them in any sphere of education.

I have been working in many contexts; private x public; school x university. I hope seeing the inclusive education more vivid, more open and dynamic…

I wish all the teachers around the world Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year…

 

P.S- I choose Thomas A. Edison quote because he suffered a lot in his school time, a teacher sent to his mom a letter saying “your son is mentally deficient. We cannot let him attend our school anymore. He is expelled” His mother taught him until she got ill and  she could not see how he was important to the world.

* Professor in portuguese also means Teacher ( schools or institutions) or Professor (academic context) I am not a professor yet, so I am a Teacher.

 

I recommend two articles for those who are facing challenging and demanding situations at their classroom:

Motivating Teachers to include everyone

Building a culture of inclusion   

Soundtrack for this post – The Verve

 

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Networking is the path of development.

On Saturday 3rd June , Braz Tesol Rio Chapter prepared a wonderful event for English Teachers in one of the most beautiful cities in Rio. Famous for being our Royal Petropolis, kindly welcomed more than one hundred teachers from different parts of Rio de Janeiro State. It took place in a centenary building, full of history which celebrates its 100th anniversary , CEFET Petropolis was one of the most beautiful venues I have ever been to enjoy a-day event for Teaching Development.

In an enthusiastic atmosphere, participants and presenters could share their thoughts and impressions during the plenary. There were two rounds sessions (in both languages – Portuguese and English to discuss about bilingualism, Inclusive Education, Artificial Intelligence, Brain-friendly Lessons, Use of games and many other topics. The day ended up with a round table to discuss about ELT.

The main goals of this kind of event are getting new ideas, sharing different ways to teach, discuss and get to know new materials and so on.

In my humble opinion, the top-notch is NETWORKING . Getting along with our friends and make new ones is priceless. It is really important to be ready to talk a lot during the Coffee break, not only to get in touch with some old friends, talk about their expectations, experience and future goals but also getting to know different people from different contexts.

brelt

Making new friends opens a window of opportunities, ideas and new challenges in our career. This is what makes any Conference (National or International) or a one-day seminar an outstanding experience.

It does not matter if it has been your 10th time, but you will always be learning, sharing and caring with people who look at the same direction as you – DEVELOP THEMSELVES FOR BEING A BETTER TEACHER, PROFESSIONAL AND HUMAN BEING.

In this event at CEFET by Braz-Tesol Rio chapter I had the opportunity to meet good friends face to face for the first time . People who I have been talking for years on the web at BRELT (Facebook Community). Meeting them in person was a unique experience. We moved from online to real life, but with the same feeling : we are friends. The importance of Networking in our field is to build a strong relationship with other teachers and educators from different contexts and expertise.

cefet1So, after reading this post , I hope you make consider to attend to one of the many Teaching Development events from lots of great associations around the country or abroad. I can assure you that you will never see the world with the same eyes.

 

Thank so much Karin Heuert Galvão for inviting me to write this post for ELT Telegraphs

 

Authentic Material – Big deal for teachers and learners.

 

keep-it-real

Hello There,

I would like to share with you some great lessons that it was a huge success in two groups of students during this month. Actually, I’m always on facebook or twitter looking for activities that could engage my small group of students.  This time I was searching for something different from their coursebooks. Needless to say, I have to follow the school curriculum but this semester, we are allowed to engage our teenagers with different kind of materials, I mean authentic ones.

The first time, I worked with these kind of materials, it was with my adult class in 2010, specially conversation class (A2-B2). That time, I usually started with something that they had already learned in their coursebook, and then I used to engage them in  warm-up or review activities.  There were articles, videos, ad from American and British tvs, some podcasts and so on.  Some of my students were really afraid of trying this new things. They couldn’t realize that things like ‘Friends’ , it was  a real moment of learning. Because there  are some myths towards Brazilian learners that ‘if you don’t learn from a book, you didn’t learn at all’. It took some patience and time to reconstruct this point of view, but finally, after some lessons they got the idea and, it worked pretty well.

Then, I decided to work with my very young learners projects using this book  ‘Pete, The Cat’ , it was a huge success. The kids simply adored him (Pete) and we had a lot of fun. It was the moment that, I brought the concept of adapting materials for students with special needs to my institution. Besides, adapting the material was a perfect moment to work with an inclusive curriculum and environment, my students were able to interact with all during the school time and why not saying outside as well.

Thus, most of these materials were there, ready to be use and it was not difficult to find them. Today we have many sources and platforms that are available to help us in our classes. Actually, all those materials I have been using with in my classes are on twitter and facebook too. Just a big deal!

Once I caught myself wondering, how my teachers used to prepare their lessons? Teaching english as a second language nowadays in Brazil is not the same way that I learned 30 years ago. Back in the 80’s , I used to have penpal friends from England and USA, it was suggested by one of my favorite teachers that time. It was amazing the feeling of those letters arriving in my home.  They used to describe their lifestyles and so did I – it was a kind of authentic material that time. There were no internet, just the traditional post office! And surprise (I still have two postcards from them). To tell the truth, both experiences had helped me a lot to understand about culture, language and friendship.

Today, when I am in class, I can relate some situation within my students. The use of technology has helped us a lot to use what is surround us – The more we use our reality, the more we create opportunity to learn. That is why authentic material are made for. Thus, I would like to suggest you two great people who create amazing things to improve and motivate our students.

#1 – Phil Wade creation :

Since He has started to share his #minilessons, I have been using quite a lot. His materials 14199367_323865964625586_8782023895156632105_nare really great to lead a good conversation class (from music to divergent topic as refugees). Instead of using games all the time, I decided to work with his minilessons because of the skills (speaking and writing) presented there and of course my students’ needs. Our free lessons happens once in a month, so I was supossed to bring some fun to them, using things about the target language. That was the moment that I saw his post on facebook and voilà. It has been my #1 sources this semester.

#2 – Natural English :

I was tweeting some ideas and activities, when I came across this won14455827_10202355767332174_1395091194_oderful material and I got really impressed with its lesson. First of all, we had worked with the target language presented previously on the lesson and the title  caught my attention ‘Sometimes Bad Things happen to good Robots’  (it is a full sample). In fact, I couldn’t use the whole lesson, but I worked with the video and also the text. During the class we saw the video in pairs, my students discussed about the video and then in a different peer group, they read the text. We did the exercise 4 about vocabulary. However, I didn’t use all the lesson, I didn’t have enough time for it. So, I selected to work with them just some parts, otherwise we couldn’t have time to explore some words in the vocabulary part that it was new for them. Besides,  exercise 6 – as suggested by Natural English it was not appropriate to my group (13-14 years old). This lesson worked during 1:15min. I assigned them the homework part to hand me back in a week. They described some things that happened with their family members and friends. I decided not publish here on the blog their composition, because it was too personal. Anyway, It was a wonderful lesson that raised some very important issues that many people have faced in life, unfortunately.

I would like to thank Phil Wade and Natural English for taking the time to prepare such great lessons. I  hope this post can help other teachers to understand and how authentic materials can improve their way of teaching . A hint for newbie teachers – try to introduce little by little in your classes, starts as a warm up then you will be giving an entire lesson.

sources:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/philwadecreations/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TEFLLessons

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Pete-Cat-Love-White-Shoes/dp/0061906220

 

 

Indiscipline – Hey Teacher, come on…

 

“Creativity dies in an indisciplined environment.”  Jim Collins

 

Hello there,

I have been working hard on my research for my MA project, during these 3 months I could observe that many teachers are facing difficult time with indiscipline during their classes. It might sound strange for some people in other countries. However, tumblr_nauopi7nyr1ro49vxo1_250there are many studies and surveys in this area going on in Brazil. Actually, They have shown that teachers have spent more than 20 minutes to calm down their students to start their classes. So, it is not an easy task and, imagine how frustrating it can be.

It is not a lack of classroom management. Most of the time, it’s something that go beyond us. There are situations of chaos, and some teachers simply do not know how to deal with.

Two weeks ago, a friend of mine on facebook posted pictures of happy classes – the students were such as Michelangelo angels; the teacher – a beautiful blonde young lady in her 30 with a stunning smiles… Anyway, I am not saying that, those pictures are unreal, but it was so far from our reality. Of course, teachers including myself go to school happy, excited to teach lesson plans in which usually take hours to be prepared. And when we go to school, we can not teach because of bad behavior, so ‘ who is to blame? 

I love searching words on dictionary. According to oxford american dictionary the word discipline is a way of training your mind and body so that you control your actions and obey the rules. However, what caught my attention was the example “a good teacher must be able to maintain discipline in the classroom” – wow! It is really annoying, isn’t it?

I have been observing many teachers and, I can assure you that they were doing very well their job. In fact, the problem was not only the students, but some aspects that the school could have helped those teachers (unfortunately it didn’t). Therefore, there are some reasons why teachers are giving up on teaching or having burn-outs during the semester.

Many of these issues are bullying, peer pressure, physical violence and in some schools where we have special needs students – Meltdown (in case of autism) and so on.

When some teachers do not have any support from their school and decide to ignore an indisciplined student does not take away the problem; it worsens the situation. In fact bad behavior will encourage other students do the same.  There are some ideas in this post by changing minds might help us to respond some bad behaviors in our classes.misbehavior

On the other hands when teachers have dialogue between school and parents, the problem with the misbehaving child will lead both side to another level of partnership and collaboration.

 It is not a piece of cake to handle indiscipline in our classroom. Even though, we have been prepared for classroom managment, including trainings, workshops – this will happen to us once! This is a kind of situation that it will be out of control, and we will ask this question forever ‘what was wrong with that class?’ so, I suggest you do not take misbehavior personally. Indiscipline is not the teacher’s problem, it is everybody’s problem.

Do not be afraid of reporting this issue to your school. Apparently,  this kind of behavior happens out of school and some parents avoid telling the truth to the teachers during parents meeting.

Sharing what is going on in your classroom with your colleagues, mentors and friends, it might be helpful for you. Because some of them have faced the same problem at once and, they might help you – giving ideas, advice and suggestions how to work and engage your students in some properly activities.

Since I have been teaching english in some schools and institutions in Brazil. I have shared some difficulties and challenges with some friends every so often. Their experiences have helped me a lot when it comes to dealing with different kind of behaviors and moods. I had almost forgotten another good hint – Do not isolate yourself, all of us have walked through the fire (I mean the classroom).

To sum up, I would like to share with you this article from CNN ‘What teachers really want to tell parents’  I read it a couple of years ago, but it is still updated. I hope you like my reflection about indicipline and misbehaviour. Thanks for dropping by.

Sources:

The Malta Independent – http://www.independent.com.mt/

Autism Speaks – https://www.autismspeaks.org

Changing Minds – http://changingminds.org/

CNN.com – http://edition.cnn.com/2011/09/06/living/teachers-want-to-tell-parents/

Photos credit

1- http://everythinghardcoremusic.tumblr.com/

2 – http://scils-synergetic.pbworks.com/w/page/11077238/Misbehavior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inclusive education – Apps to engage students with SEN.

Hello There,

steve-jobs-quotes-42

In 2014 I presented my 1st session at Braz-Tesol, where I could share with a group of 25 people including teachers and coordinators ideas and some apps that I used to work with my SEN students. I was very pleased to present my experience and how I used to engage my SEN students during my classes. Most of these apps are free and very easy to work with.

Today, I have found thousands of apps that it might help us to engage all students toward their learning process in an inclusive classroom and also keep up with other students in the classroom. I will share with you some apps and also websites that have been essential during my classes.

Apps:

1# Autism iHelp  – It is simply the best in my opinion. I remember using them with my son and then I introduced little by little with some students. You can create your own lesson plan based on this app. They have many kind of contents, so that you can work with your students in pair in a regular classroom or in private classes. It is easy to work with and you can ask your students’ parents to download for free the beta version.  It is also available for android.

2# Zoola Animals – It is all about animals. Most of the time, children with special needs have some pets to help them to improve their socialization with other people around. Animals are most of the time “good mediator” when it comes to involve these kids in the real world. So that using this app you can create activities, specially speaking tasks to improve their social skills and fluency. For instance:

what kind of animal do you like?

Do you like to go to the Zoo?

Do you have a pet?

what does the… say?

you can reinforce the activity working with this two websites: Super simple songs, color game . Therefore if you teach from Kindergaten to 10th grade, this is the best webiste ever. It is the number one during my classes. It doesn’t matter how old they are – whether they are 5 years old or 50 plus… they will lesl-autismove to play with you and the whole classroom.  ESL game + is a complete webiste where you can find activities for everyone! Of course, you can adapt for your students necessities. Needless to say, it is very simple and easy to work with. It works perfectly in interactive white boards, computers and tablets.

By the way, during  Joe Dale’s session at the 50th Iatelf in April, He brought to the audience many great ideas to work with our students. This one really caught my attention, it is called – Ultratext. Since I have showed them during the classes, I have recieved some great ideas. They know that I love facebook – it is where I interact more with teachers, educators almost everyday. So during one of our meetings, one of them create a very cute text and I sent to me to post on my facebook. It was pretty nice way to show them how it can be possible to connect to the world today – people from Greece, Turkey, France, USA and Brazil replied the post in comments and I showed them. It was an amazing time, because they didn’t realize that a simple text would go so far.

We can have a wonderful time using technology in our favor. Many teachers refuse to use some apps or websites arguing that they can be noisy or not obey the rules and avoid to come back to the class routine. However, it is necessary do give them the right instructions and elicit from them what is the goal of the use of tablets or mobiles during the classes. A messy and noisy classroom, we might deal with it even not using any apps. Thus, establish rules and goals to the activities are the best choice ever.

To sum up, there are many tools and apps that we can help our students to develop their skills and also get the best of them using technology. When we are opened to bring new sources to facilitate and also stimulate the learning process in an inclusive enviromnemt, these children, teens and adults will be able to connect to the world with more attention and desire to learn even more. We cannot forget that technology is one of their favorite things, most of them are able to create and develop things and processes than anyone else.would do. Actually, there are some studies based on this fact – called The Geek Syndrome, so using technology to help them keep up with other students in the classroom are more than welcome, it is an inclusive tool.

Here you will find some apps and tools that might help your students with autism and dyslexia.

Top 5 apps for SEN

Awesome Autism Apps 

Apps and Dyslexia 

 

Here it is my webinar “Engage students with SEN using Apps on #etwinedu

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Educational Needs Forum at the 50th IATEFL – Birmingham

 

Hello There,

I would like to highlight some great moments that I had in the 50th IATEFL conference in Birmingham. First of all, I would like to share with you my adventure to get there.

And the story goes… I left Rio de Janeiro, in the hottest autumn day and heading to Spain (like Elton John’s song  – Daniel). I met a young girl who turned my friend during the flight, we were at the same connection to London. During our long chat, she asked me why I was traveling to UK and I told her that I was going to an International Conference for Teachers of English and she got surprised like many other people do. Yeah, we have conferences spread all over the world. I can assure you that every conference has a singular atmosphere. Its essence to connect teachers to discuss, share and learn from different contexts and backgrounds makes a unique experience for all teachers.

So, my “adventure” started in a beautiful cold afternoon, when the pilot told us that we were approachiIMG_6931ng to LONDON. I was very excited to meet old and new friends that I have been interacting for some years. Friends that become my soulmates such as Roseli, Teresa, Marjorie, Joe and Sergio ( Virginia, Vicky and Burcu couldn’t join us this time, it was a pity).

Anyway, I thought it was complicated to get to Euston Station. In fact,  this was a piece of cake comparing to what was waiting for me.  I had a really hard time with my luggage.  It traveled around Spain and, British Airways gave me as an excuse with “compliments” –  one night kit specially made for MAN!

Oh boy, I tried really hard arguing along other passengers who had the same problem – our luggages were supposed to be at the airport, not somewhere over the rainbow in MADRID.

To my surprise, I was the only one who was traveling to BIRMINGHAM so that, my luggage travelled more than me. After 2 days since left Rio, finally my luggage checked in at the hotel while I was attending the conference. It was the best day of my life! No, it was not! Not a happy flight at all!

After all, I got safe and sound in Birmingham and the ICC really impressed me. What a beautiful venue! Every thing was handy, easy to use and comfortable. Coffee shop and some music. Great!

To tell the truth, there were many good talks and keynotes that I would like to able to see. Unfornately, I have to choose some of them and my intention wIMG_0134[1]as to participate at the  Forum on special educational needs – creating positive inclusive learning opportunities with three great educators who did wonderful presentations as you can catch up with the recording in the link above. They discussed and argued the necessity to provide teachers resources, teaching development, materials and support for many teachers who are facing challenges and demands for Special Educational needs in their classrooms.

Needless to say it was a perfect time to propose a new SIG for this area. Whether approved the new SIG called Inclusive Practices and SEN (Special Educational Needs) will be the voice of thousands of teachers who need support with adapted materials, universal learning design, inclusive policies and enviromnent, research to develop teaching practices and so on. This SIG is crucial to our students and to us – Teachers.

Another great moment it was during the Interactive Language Fair where 10 presentations were happening at the same time. One of these presentations, I asked some questions related to inclusive education. Even though the Interative Language Fair was not about SEN, I was curious to know, whether on their contexts, they had faced or come across with students with neurodiversities (According to Silberman the notion that conditions like autism, dyslexia and attention-deficit/ hyperativitydisorder (ADHD) should be regard as naturally cognitivIMG_0626[1]e variations with distinctive strenght that have contributed to the evolution of technology and culture rather than mere checklist of deficits and dysfunctions).

Therefore, a teachers from Turkey surprised me during her presentation. She told me that in her school, the kids with some learning difficulties, they have a teacher that help them out during the activities and engage them with the whole classroom; And that was the moment that I learned a new nomenclature for Mediation as Shelter Teachers (the idea of “Shelter” is to protect the children, giving them a safety learning enviromnent) and it was just amazing, being there and know from others – strategies, how they mix methodologies and adapting approaches that can really make the difference when it comes to inclusion. It is true that we have some difficulties to put into practice, some inclusive policies in our educational system. I reckon it is not necessary create new ones, what we have to do is – raise acceptance and accessibility for an education in which understand what is the real meaning of diversity (thinking and learning). In other words, We need Teachers who are able to UNDERSTAND this issue in our schools, Institutions and Universities. Not only accept or be aware of, but understand that wIMG_1098[1]e are different and our students with neurodiversity are not more or less than anyone else. That is what we have to struggle for – an inclusive society.

Finally, I have to confess that I had a great time at Iatefl. I met face-to-face many people who had the opportunity to attend some talks I have done on-line. I could feel once again, how powerful is the connection within my PLNs – that is the best part in conferences. The moment that we express our friendship beyond the computers and smartphones with hugs and endless talks to each other. Having fun and plan our next time together and make new friends as well. That’s priceless.

In the other hands, I have to confess that I really missed some inspring talks such as Mercedes Viola, Susan Hillyard, Luke Meddings and JJ Wilson.

I know that I took almost one month to talk about the conference due by my frenetic agenda but I got home full of ideas and I will prepare myself for my 1st presentation in Glasglow to talk more about Inclusive Education. So, let’s hope for the best…

 

Sources:

SILBERMAN.S -The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity – USA- 2015

IATEFL – http://www.iatefl.org/web-events/iatefl-webconference

 

 

Awareness x Acceptance – Inclusive Education

 

“We are trying to construct a more inclusive society. We are going to make a country in which no one is left out” . Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

Hello There,

This month is dedicated to austim awareness or autism acceptance. Hum, got a little bit confused but there are two points of view about this issue that many people are talking about.

What is awareness and acceptance? According to Cobuild dictionary – Awareness means “be  aware of something is happening because you hear it or see it”. So when it comes to raising awareness about Autism, many  groups, organizations, teachers and parents advocate what autism is about. In the other hand, Acceptance of someone with austim is to think of them as part of the group or in our society.

Besides, we (parents and educators) are trying to discuss and dialogue about this important issue that has been increased every year. Studies have shown autism cases on the rise and many discussions are going around.

And what about the Educational field? What about deal with them in a regular school? Are we ready for them? Inclusive Education – what is it about?

Last week, I was on twitter searching for some news about inclusive education, when I came across #neurotribe a best seller book written by Steve Silberman  who is explaining in a very fascinating perspective about autism. In fact, I am still reading his book and  I agree with some statements on it and,  others that I reckon, we have a long road to investigate as well. It is a book that I highly recommend for Educators and Teachers – It is really worth taking some time and read it.  12970478_10201729580837903_692683208_o

Meanwhile, I was preparing a lesson, to adapt some social skills for three SEN students in a regular classroom. I was wondering why it is so difficult to adapt a lesson that includes social skills (socialization.). Most of the time, the problem is not SEN students but how students (in general) will accept them. That is the moment that we have to raise awareness to accept these new issue in our schools (in other words – What is autism or Dyslexia or ADHD? (Awareness) and How can we learn together? (Acceptance).

Thus, They have to create the rules together and emphasize that they will use them during the school year. This inclusive project might help all the students to understand how they can have fun, learn and interact with all kind of people everywhere else. That is what an inclusive enviromnent does and it is possible to achieve one, if we are ready for it.

One of the materials that I have read for my MA project in inclusive education, it was this guideline from Unesco Bangkok. Our Educational system has to bring up new forms to engage our students. Education means acquisition of knowledge and teachers may interpret education as means for creation a new inclusive society so that, put into practice  these  ideas, projects might bring children with disabilities in our regular classrooms. Although we have many publications and researches about inclusive education, we have been faced bureaucracy and the continued neglect of their right to education. It is sad to see that many children are taken away from school, because of the lack of interest, investment and good will.

To sum up, we have to be aware of the diversity of dialogue and development. Every citizen has the right to learn and live in a more inclusive society. All of  us have our differences and respect each other, it is our best choice to survive in this world. So, it is not only AWARENESS but also ACCEPTANCE… One coin, two faces in an inclusive world.