Teaching inclusion is extremely difficult. Teaching in New York City is difficult period. But teaching in an inclusive environment is proving to be extremely challenging. I'm constantly trying to gauge my students' aptitude and learning, their evolution and progress (as well as my own). What makes inclusion so challenging is in part the obvious: extreme abilities, extreme levels of confidence, extreme emotional levels; all put into a system that is based on uniform learning. Differentiation only goes so far, especially when they take standardized tests! I'm trying to put my feet in the shoes of my students. What would I need? What would I want to hear? What would I want to do? As much as I try to empathize my way into their experience, I can never really know, but I can try to understand.
But again, there are so many factors involved. How can I even ever truly understand? Everyday I'm reminded of how much I don't know. The power is definitely in the hands of my students. More than any one factor, they turn it on and off. I can only try to do my best to keep the 'on' switch 'on' as much as possible.