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Classroom Relationships and Behavior
Inclusion: The Right Answer?

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Student to Student Relationships 

     The student to student relationship in a classroom is an important element of learning. How can you learn and participate with others if you dont get along with them? In an inclusion classroom that element becomes even more important because the amount of group work and socialization is larger.
     Students who have positive relationships with each other tend to benefit inside and outside the classroom. Interaction with one another helps students to tolerate people who are different then them and also helps them gain from the ideas and knowledge of others. It also allows them to share thoughts and time together, therefore strengthening the relationship.
     Being a challenged student in an Inclusion class might not be the easiest thing in the world, so having a class with children who respect everyone equally is important. A focal point for relationships in the classroom is awareness of others. Students might be aware that a certain children in the class have learning disabilites but interaction with these students serves as a reminder that they really are not different then other students.

Teacher to Student Relationship

     The traditional relationship between teacher and student is one that is essential to education. It is based on mutual trust and respect for one another. The role of the teacher has changed from the deliverer of instruction to an academic guide and creator of learning experiences. Teachers help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They promote collaboration between students and cooperative learning. The learning environment is being redesigned for learner-centered activities rather than teacher-dominated assignments. The change in classroom atmosphere is being observed in many elementary and middle school environments.

     Teachers, however have their own attitudes on Inclusion classes. Some may support it and others might be opposed to the idea but are forced to teach the class anyway. The attitude of the teacher has a direct relation to his/her students. Having a positive outlook in the presence of children would make them feel more comfortable and less concerned with matters. A teacher who allows students to interact and question openly shows concern with getting the students to take in knowledge and become individual rather than memorize needless information.

     When a student and teacher have a well balanced relationship they are more likely to both benefit and learn from each other. From a teacher, students learn about lessons in and outside the classroom. They might learn how to research topics but at the same time they might learn tolerance and social skills which will apply to them even out of school. From a student, the teacher learns different approaches in order for children with different learning abilities to comprehend lessons. They also learn to adapt to different development levels and allow students to find some things out for themselves rather than always lecturing.