Developing a sense of community and support is critical to a fully inclusive classroom. Accepting each other for where they are and seeing in each other what they can become requires a concerted effort far beyond the subject matter specifics in English, Social Studies, Math, the Sciences or any of our courses. However how we teach, the examples or activities and particularly our approach toward our students, the so called “soft curriculum” play a huge role in developing the foundational trust we require if we are going to meet the needs of students that span a broad spectrum of abilities, backgrounds, and aspirations.

Consider this scene from the movie Freedom Writers, the true story of an English teacher who demonstrated exceptional commitment to her students in an extremely difficult class.