Is the Principal of Your School Your Pal?: One of the challenges in getting schools to embrace inclusion is finding principals who really believe in it. I'll never forget the way the principal of the school in which my daughter had her first inclusion class did everything she could to sabotage inclusion, thus giving her teachers no particular incentive to try hard to make it work. I think she just genuinely believed it was a bad idea imposed by people without her hands-on experience in schools, but the ones who got punished were not those bureaucrats but vulnerable children who had the least amount of say about their own placement.
I thought about that former principal when talking today on The Inclusive Class radio show with Kathryn Yamamoto, a principal of an elementary school in British Columbia who actively promotes the inclusion of students with special needs in her school, and also the inclusion of parents in the IEP process and the day-to-day implementation of that document. It's great to hear stories like hers, but also sad because that level of involvement just doesn't happen in so many schools. Does your principal get it? Give the show a listen and add this to your wish list.