Not being able to sleep is usually not my problem. Honestly, I have fallen asleep while driving, reading, walking through WalMart….it’s not a problem for me. The problem is usually not having enough time to sleep. Lay me down, I’m asleep.
Today (yesterday)I had a fun adventure that involved a virtual knife being stuck into my back by an invisible foe. Otherwise known as “back spasms” the doctor said (after two hours of waiting in Urgent Care). Happy it wasn’t something like a hairy cyst growing in my back or some alien fetus sprouting there, I was sent home with a prescription for muscle relaxers. Apparently, these “muscle relaxers” only kind of work and instead of sending you into a blissful, restful, out-til-morning-light kind of slumber, they wake you as they wear off at 2 in the morning. Not my idea of a fun time. That being said, I was able to get up and do some homework. yay.
The class I am in now is on the foundations of the Inclusion Classroom. This is a topic I have issues with. I don’t believe the funding is there for an inclusion classroom to be supported as it should be. Point one. Point two involves the struggles educators have to meet the needs of such a wide variety of students in an overpopulated classroom. High expectations, growth requirements, curriculum chains (I mean…yeah, chains…), and lack of support make running a truly inclusive classroom hard, to say the least.
The more I learn about this mythical, magical, marvelous classroom model the more I want it. I want to have a culturally diverse classroom where everyone supports and encourages others despite their differences and challenges. I want students that have physical, mental and emotional struggles in my classroom. I want students from all over the world that speak different languages, look different, think different, dress different. I want a global classroom.
I went back to bed after writing my paper at 2 this morning. But as I lay there, muscles twitching, mind racing….I felt the proverbial hand slap the back of my head. Why am I learning all this? Why does it seem that everywhere I turn, I am educated more and more about the benefits of being with those that are ‘not the same as me’. My ‘box’ has been rained on, trampled, and thrown under a bridge. I can’t stay in it because it has fallen apart.
I look at my family. Bring it home. I’ve tried so hard to make it fit a certain mold, way of life, way of thinking, acting, believing… Why shouldn’t it be just as global, inclusive, open-minded as my classroom? In trying to keep it all the ‘same’ and I hurting or helping my family? Am I setting my children up for success or failure if I encourage them to only accept those that are just like them?
Darn it all..sometimes I’m a really slow learner. Sometimes, it takes a person five or six,or even 45 years to discover they have been asking the wrong questions, looking in the wrong places, and accepting answers from closed boxes. I changed my question this weekend. Instead of “what am I supposed to learn from this trial?” I moved to “What do I need to DO to be able to learn from this trial?” It’s in the action, the movement, the effort. True lessons don’t get delivered on a silver tray while we sit pretty, waiting for them. Real answers are out in the trenches, dirty, wet, slippery, and sometimes even bloody.
Bring it home. What do you need to DO? Are you thinking outside your box or are your fighting like mad to tape it as the world tries to get in? What do you want to learn? Who do you want to be? How do you want to fit in the world?
I don’t want to be in a pretty box, high on a shelf….all alone. I’d rather be out in the world, spinning, dancing, getting dirty, and participating in this global family we’ve been given.
Stretch. Look. See. Grow.
Cause I said so.
Photo credit: www.newscenter.sdsu.edu