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The Issue of Inclusion

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Posted in:  
Teaching and Learning
August 16, 2016

Did all the invitations go to the correct folks? Sometimes this is a hard question to answer and not just in our personal lives but also professionally.

Many times what is supposed to be a joyous occasion (weddings, baby showers, anniversaries) can be a time of angst to ensure no one gets his or her feelings hurt but, more importantly, so all who need to make the celebration complete are included.

This happens more times professionally than we care to know. Many times when you as a teacher are doing vertical, horizontal or curriculum planning, do you invite the not-so-obvious staff like a technology person or the librarian or even an administrator? Or as an administrator, do you include the not-so-obvious personnel when doing a strategic plan? Do you invite a department head, a technology staffer and even a maintenance representative? Remember, they should all have a voice in the future of your district/school.

I know if you invite everyone, the room can get very full, but more than likely, not everyone will attend. But giving an invite with the “right of refusal” goes a very long way when building a loyal and engaged culture.

More importantly, once everyone is at the table, do you listen? You invited them to hear their perspectives, but when you are the only person talking, then it is your conversation, and you have lost the potential to tap into the talent, experience and creativity which you assembled.

As your year begins and new committees and departments are formed and you begin holding conversations to find solutions to this year’s challenges, please invite everyone to the conversation with an open heart and a listening ear.

Best of luck to you as you begin what I hope is one of your more successful years.

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