There are continued concerns about inclusion in the classroom.
President of the New Brunswick Teachers Association says they have a wide variety of students needs in the classrooms, but not enough resources to accommodate.
George Daley says, many don’t know that inclusion applies to every student in the province, not just those with special needs.
“It’s really unfortunate that when these discussions start, that special needs children somehow become the topic of conversation. That’s not our intent at all. We are talking about a policy that we believe is not providing us the flexibility to individually respond to each student. We don’t have the means in the system right now to fully investigate or analyse where our students are, and the follow up resources that are needed to meet their needs.”
He says every child has to be evaluated individually.
“There is, in my belief, a fallacy out there that the best place for every child is in the classroom all the time. But we have some students who can’t handle a sensory environment and they need other opportunities,” Daley adds.
“There have been some real misinterpretations of this policy that students have got to stay in that classroom. If we get to the situation when we can take them out of the classroom, who is going to do it? When you have school staff that are so narrowly funded, that you only have enough classroom teachers and very few extra resource teachers in the building, who does it fall back on? If you don’t have that individual to do it, what do you do?”