"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

An Inclusive School is...

Inclusive Schools Week poster comment

Inclusive Schools Week poster
It's Inclusive Schools Week!  Today with my 3rd grade students I read I'm Here by Peter H. Reynolds.  I started the lesson by having the students build a definition of what it means to be an inclusive school and what it looks like, as well as having them describe what a library in an inclusive school feels like and looks like.  We talked about how the collection should include books that are both a window and a mirror for the students in the school.

We then read I'm Here.  We reflected on the story and then watched the animation of I'm Here. The students were visibly touched by both the reading of the story and the viewing of the video. (The music for the video perfectly underscores the gentleness of the story.).  I explained that I had placed posters with writing prompts around the room and that students could respond to the ones which moved them.  There was no obligation to participate.

It was a wonderful thing to witness.  Students were once again reminding me that even if they don't always remember to do the right thing in the heat of the moment, they are thoughtful human beings who know, somewhere inside themselves,  the right thing to do.  Today was one of those moments. During one of the lessons, a student asked a question, which I had just answered.  I answered the question as if for the first time with some added explanation, knowing that this particular student sometimes needed clarification, but would have done so regardless of the circumstances.  Two students snickered and added in a demeaning tone, "She just said that!"  It was a teachable moment. We had a very good authentic discussion about being an inclusive community and the ways in which we can support each other as learners.  What a wonderful growing moment for all of us.  It is not all perfect here in my library and in my school, but we are firmly rooted in good intentions and taking this journey together. I'm Here. You're Here. We're Here.

Here's a video of the posters, inspired by Peter H. Reynolds' I'm Here.


  1. Beautiful work (as usual) Mrs. Reed! I was truly moved by the reading of "I'm Here" and my 3rd grade buddy's attention was captured when you showed the video. I applaud you for being such an inclusive teacher and recognizing that students learn in many different ways. Here's to "paper airplane" moments :)

  2. I am touched by having my book, "I'm Here" as part of your celebration of inclusiveness. I enjoyed your post and the film! Your school is lucky to have you in it to inspire a generous, creative, and caring climate.

  3. You are so Awesome..miss being a part of school with you

  4. Thank you for taking the time to post this and the video. Lovely.