What are our reasons for exclusion?
Imagine that you’ve come to the swimming pool, but you don’t know how to swim. The manager of the pool points to a sign that says: “Those who cannot swim are not allowed.” The manager then explains to you that although you cannot use this pool, we do have a place for you in that pool over there. He points down the road to a different pool. That’s for all you non swimmers. You can go there, but you’re not allowed in here.
As you leave, you notice all your other friends are in the “general” pool are watching you walk away. They snicker and whisper to their friends as you walk down to the pool that’s for you and all the other children that don’t know how to swim.
Once at this “other” pool, you see that you are grouped with other non swimmers and you wonder what’s wrong with you and are confused as to why you can’t learn to swim with your friends.
As a swimming teacher, I wonder why we can’t include all swimmers. I wonder why we can’t work together to meet kids where they are so that they can learn to celebrate their differences and strengths. Whether it be side stroke, crawl, or the back stroke. Let’s celebrate all types of swimmers.
Check out Piper’s story about being included. Piper’s Ted Talk