Inclusion in the Classroom
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Inclusion in the Classroom

I’m Lynn Jameson. I’m the director of Special
Education for Castleberry ISD. When I was hired in November of 2015 Mr. Ramos
posed this question to the administrative team: “How are you going to move the district
from good to great.” So I reached out to Dr. Sharon Azar an educational
consultant and expert in inclusive practices including co-teach. We were able to partner together and provide
professional learning opportunities for our special education and general education teachers
on co-teach approaches that yield better results for our students. I’m Dr. Sharon Azar an educational consultant
working with Castleberry school district. We’ve been working together for a couple of
years on the journey of becoming a more inclusive school district. One of the first things that we did was sit down together as a team and we designed and implemented a co-teach training. It’s been quite an exciting journey working
with Castleberry. We’ve seen some great strides and great gains in outcomes for our students with disabilities, and I’m super excited to be part of this journey. Hi, I’m Heather Kennedy I’m the special education inclusion teacher at A.V. Cato Elementary and I’ve have been with the
district for one year. My name is Sarah Lowry and I’m a 3rd grade
math and science teacher at A.V. Cato and I’ve been with the district for
four years. This year Castleberry ISD has started a new
program to implement inclusion and co-teach strategies in the classroom. Miss Kennedy comes into my classroom in the
mornings, and has really helped my students with retention. Especially on assessments, quizzes, assignments,
things like that. We’ve decided that we would do like a parallel
teach. And I really love this for our special education
students because it allows them to stay in the classroom with their same age peers. And it allows them to still pick up their
grade level content that they would be missing if they were pulled out for resource. I’m coach Galvan I’m the chemistry teacher
as well as the AP chemistry teacher and this is my second year here. And I’m coach James I’m the inclusion teacher
in both biology and chemistry, and this is my first year at Castleberry. Some of the benefits that we’ve seen is that
kids have different personalities so some adjust to coach James some adjust to me. There’s days where maybe a kid doesn’t really
want to interact with one of us, but he connects with the other. There’s days where he’ll be gone at a track
meet or I’ll be gone at a softball games and the kids were always like where’s coach James,
wheres coach James and you know there’s kids who take it hard when he’s gone and then I’ll
be like alright well he’ll be here tomorrow. They get excited and all. It’s not my classroom, it’s not his classroom
it’s both of our classroom. And we’ve done really well at that. Yeah, and coach Galvan has done a really good
job of getting through to the kids that. Because it’s not easy for coach Galvan to
say “hey, I’m gonna share my classroom with you.” And he’s done it with open arms and
really told the kids “Hey, this isn’t just my classroom it’s coach James’ classroom too.” My name is Stacey Adams and I am the secondary
English coordinator in Castleberry ISD. I believe that the inclusion classroom offers
the optimal opportunity for us to work as educators to promote the success of all students. In the inclusion setting the students should
work together. Inclusion does not mean that you have the
students in the general education classroom but they are separated and put over to the
side and working with the special ed inclusion teacher. They are mixed in the general population working
with those cooperative groups, partnering with the general education students. and showing their knowledge in the regular
classroom. And in an inclusion classroom it should look
like two teachers just working cooperatively together. You should not be able to tell who the regular
education teacher is and who the special education teacher is. it should just be that everybody is coming
together and helping all students succeed. In my opinion, inclusion is the direction
we’re moving in towards the future. And teachers need to learn to embrace that
with that special designed instruction and really hone in on what makes each student
rise to your level of expectation. Through Dr. Azar’s guidance and the high fidelity
practices of our teachers we have seen student progress improvement over the last year. And I’m excited to see where the next step
takes us as we enter into the 17-18 school year.

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