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"Creating an inclusive classroom environment is critical for building confidence, self-esteem, and a permanent sense of normalcy for students with disabilities. They get the same attention as other students, don’t feel secluded, and don’t feel uncomfortable when answering questions."

“I feel very strongly that teachers should include students with disabilities in the general education classroom. An inclusive classroom environment is critical for building confidence, self-esteem, and a permanent sense of normalcy for students with disabilities. They get the same attention as other students, don’t feel secluded, and don’t feel uncomfortable when answering questions.

“There are many things that teachers can do to make sure that we create that inclusive environment. You can: ensure that you understand the range and complexity of disability types; understand the unique needs of each student; apply the human elements that students need to feel safe and included i.e. first choice in roles during group work; use specific actions such as having students use a specific hand to indicate whether they know the answer to a question; understand the individual disabilities and unique needs of each student, and implementing simple routines that are outside the legal accommodations, helps foster a lasting sense of belonging.

“Understanding the individual disabilities and unique needs of each student, and implementing simple routines that are outside the legal accommodations, helps foster a lasting sense of belonging.”


Jemelleh Coes

Jemelleh Coes has been in education for 8 years. She specializes in middle grades Language Arts and Reading with a focus in Special Education. In 2014, Jemelleh served as Georgia’s Teacher of the Year. She currently assists with the preparation of... Full Bio

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Get ready for your Workshop. Explore these videos and think about how they apply to your own practice--even before our first online session begins.

In these videos, I invite participants to carefully consider how they can make their classrooms more inclusive for students with disabilities.

Part One: Introduction

In part one of the workshop, I describe the process that goes on behind the scenes in order to prepare a classroom for being more inclusive of students with disabilities.

Part Two: Developing Tools for Inclusion

In part two of the workshop, I invite participants to produce something from the materials in front of them then discuss the ways that they struggled to complete the task.

Part Three: Developing Empathy for Inclusion Students

In part three of the workshop, I give each participant a role, then puts them into groups to act out a scenario.

Get ready for our TeachingPartners Live Workshop

Thanks for taking part in our great first session! You can view an archive of this session here!

In our first Workshop session, you have the chance to learn exactly what makes this teaching practice successful in the classroom.

You learn the preparation required to share this approach with your students; the ways you can introduce this practice to your students most successfully; and exactly how your students can benefit as a result. You also have the chance to ask questions and to share your own ideas.

Make the most of our first Workshop session, by taking time in advance to think about your responses to these driving questions:

  • What do you already know about creating an environment that encourages inclusion students to feel welcome and confident? What about this subject would you like to learn more about?
  • How do you think your students might benefit if you were to integrate this approach to your general education classroom?
  • After reviewing the videos of the professional learning session in preparation for our Workshop, what specific questions do you have about what you saw?
  • What ideas do you have for incorporating the strategies presented in these videos within your own classroom? What could you incorporate directly? What would you need to change or modify to serve your students?

Get ready for our TeachingPartners Live Workshop

Here’s the archive of Session 2!

In the second Workshop session, you have the chance to share and refine your own take on the professional practice introduced in Session One.

You have the chance to ask questions that can refine your understanding and impact your practice; to share and test your ideas for how you can adapt this teaching practice for your own classroom; and to support other teachers participating in the workshop as they personalize this practice to serve their own students.

To make the most of our second Workshop session, please take time in advance to think about your responses to these driving questions:

  • How–in your own words–would you describe the teaching practice presented in Session One? How would you describe the impact this approach could have for your students?
  • What about creating an environment that encourages inclusion students to feel welcome and confident as presented in the first Workshop session seemed most useful to you? What single component or idea seems like it would most strongly resonate with your students? 
  • How do you think your students would respond if this practice was presented to them exactly as described in Session One? Which elements do you think you’d need to change to better serve your students? Which would you be sure to present without modifying?
  • What elements would you add? Do you have resources, materials, or lesson plans you already use to encourage reflective learning that you could adapt or incorporate to better personalize this practice?
  • What help or support would you need to present this practice in your own classroom?
  • What changes, if any, would you need to make to your school schedule or to your classroom environment for this practice to succeed for your students?