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Inclusive Practice

Including every student, every parent, every teacher, and every community member is
what guides my work and what nourishes my soul as an educator of color. I see myself in every
student who does not represent the dominant culture. I see my own parents in all of those parents
who find it challenging to be physically present at school due to many external factors. I see my
ethical responsibility to continually divert my colleagues from the negative stereotypes they hold
and eliminate beliefs that special populations cannot not achieve at grade level. Frattura and
Capper poignantly support my efforts when they state that, student failure is prevented by
building teacher capacity to be able to teach to a range of diverse student strengths and needs
(Frattura & Capper, 2007). This is why I believe that all opportunities for collaboration should
focus on empowering educators to meet the needs of all students, in addition to being equipped
with strategies for effective collaboration with colleagues of diverse race, age, and gender among
other identity factors.
A significant component of inclusive practice is collaboration. Whether collaboration
takes place during professional development opportunities, committee work, or during PLCs,
effective collaboration is dependent of parity. Regardless of race, age, or gender, all people feel
valued when their voice gets taken into account. It gives them a sense of contribution and a sense
of acceptance by a group. Through collaboration team members also share accountability for
work whether the results are positive or negative. When there is unity, no one can be blamed for
undesirable results. On the other hand, everyone can proudly celebrate positive outcomes as a
result of collective efficacy. It is important that as an administrator I clearly communicate
effective collaboration practices to teachers so that potential conflicts that result in the damage of
collegial relationships can be avoided.
Since children are at the center of everything educators do, differences among teachers
personal values and beliefs cannot get in the way of student achievement. As an administrator, I
will lead professional development and supply opportunities for collaboration by reminding
teachers of the key points specified by Deal and Peterson: (maintain) a shared sense of purpose,
(advocate) teacher involvement in decision making, (focus) work around instruction, establish
norms of improvement, and (adhere to) a sense of joint responsibility for student learning (Deal
& Peterson, 2009). Without appropriate guidance, it is dangerous to assume that all adults will
know how to collaborate successfully. I will specify to teachers how collaboration looks and
feels so that its productive and leads to inclusive practices.
In an effort to keep inclusive practices at the forefront, I will continue involving every
student, every parent, every teacher, and every community member and remembering my own
school experience and that of my parents as well. I will continue being relentless and diverting
stereotypes that are destructive to all communities. I will continue to be brave and stand up for
what I know to be right.
Frattura, E. M., & Capper, C. A. (2007). Leading for social justice: Transforming schools for
all learners. Corwin Press.
Deal, E. Terrence, & Peterson, D. Kent (2009). Shaping school culture: Pitfalls, paradoxes, and
promises. Jossey-Bass.