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Opening a Window: The Role of the Family in Inclusive Education

Why am I Writing?

During the 2011-2012 academic school year, a number of my colleagues decided to participate in the Teachers College Inclusive Classrooms Project. We had been interested in these once a month inquiry meetings after a fellow teacher commented on how much she had learned from her own inquiry team when she participated the year before.  
We all chose to participate in different inquiry teams in an effort to turnkey what we had each come away with. I chose to participate in the Family Connections Team. As a school, we found that many teachers had been struggling with how to successfully collaborate with families. After taking different approaches to facilitate this, I, too, found myself at a loss with certain families. Once I began attending these meetings, I noticed that I was looking more deeply into my own practice and questioning things that I had not considered in my previous years as a classroom teacher. I even saw myself speaking differently about families that my co-teacher and I considered, “uninvolved.” I was interested in trying to connect with these families and aid them in bringing their own funds of knowledge to the table.