The students will test you during these first few days. Without steadfast rules and well outlined disciplinary procedures, the students will not respect you.
In order to create a positive atmosphere of expectations, procedures and routines, it is also important to clearly outline to the class what is expected of them. However, in order to empower the classroom students, one beneficial strategy is to allow the students to help develop the classroom rules, procedures and expectations. By bringing the group together and making the classroom environment one in which they assisted in creating, the students will be more likely to both respect it and work with it.
Although there are numerous steps a teacher must take to create a successful learning environment in a full-inclusion classroom, taking firm and clear actions the first days of school are the most important.
The purpose is to let the students know what the rules, procedures, expectations and consequences are. In a sense, it is the teachers way of making a lasting first impression.
Gore, M.C. (2003): Successful Inclusion Strategies for Secondary and Middle School Teachers: Keys to Help Struggling Learners Access the Curriculum. SAGE Publications.
Hardmand, Michael L. (2007): Human Exceptionality: School, Community and Family. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Male, Mary. (2002): Technology for Inclusion: Meeting the Special Needs of All Students. Allyn & Bacon, Inc.
Nowicki, Stephen and Marshall P. Duke. (1992): Helping the Child Who Doesnt Fit in. Peachtree Publishers.
Willis, Judy. (2007): Brain-Friendly Strategies for the Inclusion Classroom..