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Role of the Adult: Inclusion education is not limited to just cultural and race differences. We must set a comfortable environment for children with different learning abilities, socioeconomic differences, behavior and much more. The unique characteristics of a Montessori education allow the prepared adult to design a classroom that fits every child's needs. Being a caregiver (parent, teacher, grandparent and etc.) allows you to love and accept every child. It is your job to make sure each child in your care feels accepted and part of the community (household, classroom or etc.). If you are in a classroom setting make sure you greet each child in the beginning of the day. If a shy child doesn't respond to how you greet them then change the greeting. Maybe a simple smile in the morning or funny face to relate to the child can help. The child will feel like part of the environment which is important for inclusion. Give every child the same opportunities considering developmental needs. Take a look at the way you might react to a child who needs constant guidance compared to a child who usually works independently. Know that the children watch when the reactions to similar situations are different. Having constant eyes on you means that you have to be a positive role model. Children will imitate what they see adults doing so always make sure your reactions are how you would like the children to react. Understanding each child may require research as every child is not always forthcoming. Children come from very different backgrounds and that plays a part in how each child reacts and behaves in environments. Having knowledge of each child's background will help significantly with feelings of inclusion for the child.
Role of the Child: A great way to include every child is giving the children a role or job in the environment. This job has to have significance in the environment, without this role the community will not function. In a classroom setting the children can be part of the morning routine which can include setting up the tables or cutting fruit for breakfast. The child has to know that without the role they played in the classroom then the environment would not function. Not only will the child feel included but a sense of pride and confidence will surface.
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