Each January, families with incoming kindergartners visit our school. My colleagues and I invite them into our classrooms after school and say:
“When you look around, we hope you can see the kinds of learners that share this space. Each day, when children enter our classrooms, they see themselves, they see their passions, they see their learning.”
Now, more than ever, a classroom needs to be a place where all children are seen. It may be the only place to be seen safely, to be seen for who they are, to be seen beyond what they look like.
When thinking of our own classrooms, we can ask:
If ______ did not come to school for a day, would they still be seen in the classroom environment?
Would they be seen in photographs, in portraits, in artwork?
Would their interests be seen in the library? In the topics being studied? Would their needs be seen in the classroom setup?
Would they be seen in the mentor authors being studied? In the tools created? In the work displayed? Would their thoughts and ideas be visible?