National Catholic Board on Full Inclusion
I love uplifting stories, especially when they involve students and schools. A story on the TODAY SHOW has gone viral, and it is so wonderful I have t share and talk about it.
A young man with Down's Syndrome has been the team manager for his school team for 4 years. On Senior Night, Sam Jordan had the chance to play in the game for his team, Lake Norman High School, against Vance High School. Sam scored a touchdown, all while being cheered on by both teams, his coaches, his parents, and the entire school. Here is the link to Sam's interview. https://www.today.com/video/meet-the-high-school-football-player-with-down-syndrome-who-scored-a-touchdown-109250629628 And here is the link to the PEOPLE interview
I love the lessons in this story. Sam received a reward for his hard work as team manager for those 4 years, and he felt that beautiful feeling of total inclusion with his participation on the football field. His teammates and the opposing team had the chance to give a great gift to a young man, and to be a part of something much bigger than themselves. They had the chance to change a young man's life! What was Sam's reaction? He said, "It was the best thing that ever happened to me."
I remember when inclusion first started in schools, since my teaching career began in 1974. Some parents and students complained initially, but I truly believe that school became a better place when everyone was included. I loved my students with special needs, and they made me a better classroom teacher and person. I learned many lessons from those special kids, and so did my "regular" students.
Inclusion teaches us that everyone has gifts to share, and those gifts are as diverse as the people we are. The world can be a beautiful place when everyone is included and respected. I wish I could meet Sam! What a terrific young man and an uplifting feel-good story!
Visit Dede's web page for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required reading. Signed copies are available www.dederittman.com Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics.
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