The discussion of inclusion is always ongoing, and typically varies by district and student. My district has been considered 'full inclusion' in the past, which was a bit of a shock to me when I started teaching. I just didn't know how I was supposed to be taking these students who are non-verbal, non-ambulatory, with limited motor skills, into inclusion classes all day long-- how was I going to keep them involved, when would I be able to work on their IEP goals that could not be done in class. I have tried lots of different classes and schedules to see how inclusion works the best with my students, and I think we are finally in a comfortable place with how much my students are 'included' during the school day.
- most of my students go into inclusion science and LA classes with their grade level, as I've found these classes are easier to modify or get the kids involved. In LA, they give presentations with a switch, we can record their reading passage on a switch to read within their group, they can do a reading log at home, they can present poems with a switch. In science, they can give lab directions to the group on a switch, advance slides of a powerpoint, participate in labs, etc.
- My students go to related arts classes with their peers. In middle school, students have a class for a trimester (either PE, art, band, or choir). My first year I had my students do a daily rotation of what related arts they went to, thinking it would give them a variety. I found that their peers/teachers didn't consider them a real member of class because they were only present once a week, so now they stay with one class per trimester.
- My students go to lunch and sit with their peers.
- During the periods I have my students in my room, I have typical peers come in to assist them or just hang out with them. This has created some great peer-student relationships.
- Inclusion varies per student; for example I have one student with autism who does a pull-out math and LA class, but is in inclusion classes the rest of the day.