Inclusion prevents and/or eliminates isolation. Inclusion gently, but very effectively, reverses wasted opportunities to build and strengthen community for everyones’ benefit – including teachers’ and families. Inclusion does not require that everybody must love everybody else … nor does inclusion require that “We must all be one big, happy family!” (OBHF)
Building Belonging in the classroom creates a WIN-WIN for everyone
Being included is what makes people know they matter. Knowing they matter makes it much easier to “get” that everyone else also matters … not just theoretically, but in the most practical, everyday ways. Feelings of loneliness and alienation can have a negative impact in all areas of our lives. Education helps meet the need to learn and grow and not remain stagnant, but as with any of our needs, if we focus on one at the expense of the others it does not maximize the overall quality of life. When all these needs are met in an integrated way, each area adds strength in the ability to achieve fulfillment in the other areas. Inclusion is about meeting all those needs, and maximizing a person’s overall quality of life.
The rare, but tragic, effects of neglecting efforts at inclusion are stark. Research has revealed that 70% of mass shooters were ‘loners.’
Loners who had trouble fitting in rarely, if ever, experienced inclusion
There is a challenging element to this factor of social skills: it must ring true, and it cannot be forced. It can, though, be evoked, activated and anchored… and when done so, with consistency, which is what the KIDS’ OWN WISDOM approach and classroom ready resources are all about, children tend to come out of their shy and/or isolated shells – with benefits, both short-term and long-term, for all.