As a teacher in an Ontario Publicly funded Catholic school, and as a former teacher in an Ontario publicly funded public school, I am privy to the unique experiences of my students, their families, and the community to which they belong. As a former graduate of an Ontario Publicly funded Catholic school, I was exposed to the good and the bad, structurally and inherently inferred within the school system itself. I have seen firsthand how a properly implemented system of inclusion can truly benefit students, and allow for student growth and development. But I have also witnessed the unfortunate effects of not upholding equity and inclusion standards, those of which are basic human rights. As a teacher, I see students every year, who come into my classroom with a plethora of unique lived experiences, and unique family lives at home. Each student comes into my class, and is given a fresh new start each day with opportunities to learn and grow and become the best human they can be. But each student cannot be treated the same, because no two students in my class are the same as each other. I believe this basic act of acknowledging each student’s unique learning backgrounds and capabilities should be the foundation of each school board’s policies for equity and inclusion. If this was the case, then students would never fear being singled out, or left behind. This research is important because schools are not yet designed to keep students safe. They are designed to ensure the people who sit on the board are happy first, then the parents, then the students.

Author: Christina Caleca

Published in: Canada International Conference on Education, 2023

  • Date of Conference: 26-28 June, 2023
  • DOI: 10.20533/CICE.2023.0039
  • Electronic ISBN: 978-1-913572-58-7
  • Conference Location: Residence and Conference Centre, Toronto, Canada