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The Inclusive Classroom

            The way in which children see themselves can have a profound effect on their lives. All children need and want to feel accepted, capable and competent. If these needs are not met, emotional, behavioral and academic problems will probably develop. Learning-disabled children are especially vulnerable in this respect. Teachers and students frequently associate academic achievement with social acceptability, therefore, they view students with learning disabilities (or other disabilities for that matter) as less capable, both academically and socially, than non-disabled students, even in areas in which they are improving. Repeated failures and negative feedback from others frequently lead to a sense of low self-esteem, which would prevent anyone from moving forward in any shape or form. Negative criticism, pinpointing and put-downs will only reinforce the same negative behavior. The teacher in the inclusive classroom must always keep this in mind, by creating a positive learning environment of equality, praise and encouragement for all students. The following paper will seek to present a clear understanding of the strategies an educator should utilize in order to set up a helpful and encouraging classroom setting for all students, eliminating unnecessary behaviors and meeting the needs of the wide range of students in your classroom. .
             General educators, especially those teaching within an inclusive environment, need to be more aware of the characteristics of children with disabilities and the nature of their educational, social, and emotional requirements. Increased awareness and attitudinal change on the part of educators and parents toward these students could have a significant impact upon the disabled learner's view of themselves, and therefore increase self-esteem and affect emotional/social adjustment, school performance, and contributions to society in a more positive manner. If more positive and supportive classroom climates existed, disabled youngsters would be better able to grow and learn.

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