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Becoming a Great Inclusive Educator


Edited By Scot Danforth

Inclusive education continues to grow in popularity and acceptance in the United States. However, most teachers – general and special educators – are poorly prepared to be successful in inclusive classrooms and schools. Undoubtedly, the challenge to professionals involves the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. But inclusion requires far more. It calls upon educators to trouble everything they think they know about disability, to question their deepest ethical commitments, to take up the work of the Disability Rights Movement in the public schools, and to leap headlong into the deepest waters of the rich craft tradition of inclusive teaching. This book offers educators the guidance and resources to become great inclusive educators by engaging in a powerful process of personal and professional transformation.
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Chapter 15: Spilt Milk Counts: Belonging and Moving on Down the Hall


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Spilt Milk Counts: Belonging and Moving on Down the Hall


As a student services (resource) teacher, I was co-teaching in the grade 1 classroom one day; the classroom teacher had stepped out. Then … boom! Bang! Crash! Stomp! What just happened? In that adrenaline-filled instant, I paused—or froze; I shuttered slightly. I had asked a student to check out a library book, which somehow resulted in flying chairs, tipping desks, and screaming: “I hate this school, I hate these teachers, I hate it all.” In that moment, time stopped tersely, unexpectedly and unabashedly. I suddenly heard my heart beating inside my head—a baffling though perhaps predictable occurrence. Strangely and almost unknowingly, I felt like I had super powers—the unbelievable kind, like I could foster an invisible force field or morph my body or kinetically charge my brain: I needed to quickly make countless classroom decisions. Time was sprinting. I found ways to keep the other students safe while simultaneously somehow continuing a lesson. Still in this simultaneity, I distracted the aggravated booming, banging, crashing, stomping student Clark, and attempted to convince him to come to a safe area to attempt to calm down. I made many, many decisions in this strange time contortion—and yet the booming, banging, crashing and stomping continued.

On this day in this moment of confusing simultaneities, I thought of my co-teaching partner,...

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