I resisted Abbott Elementary at first. I thought, "I spend all day thinking about kids, education, and inclusion. TV time is for *relaxing* content, like zombie apocalypses and psychological thrillers!"
If you're like I was, just know - this show is gold.
My favorite scene is this scene about Micah and Mr. Eddie. We're watching Mr. Eddie figure out inclusion in real time - and it's seriously beautiful (and adorable).
Here's why I love this clip so much:
1. What's necessary for Micah is actually good for all of the kids.
Bringing in Micah's special interest (Bluey) was necessary for Micah to be engaged in the lesson. He needs this to be included.
But here's the best part - ALL of the kids in the class are benefiting from this Bluey lesson.
Micah's inattention was obvious - it was loud, "disruptive," and observable to everyone.
I guarantee, though, that there were other students in the class who weren't paying attention to the first lesson!
Those students might have been looking at Mr. Eddie, sitting still, and quiet - but that doesn't mean they were actively listening and learning. Inattention can be invisible.
So, those quiet kids struggling to focus totally benefited from the Bluey lesson.
There were kids that were paying attention and learning the whole time - but of course they enjoyed the Bluey lesson more!
This engaging lesson - necessary for Micah - was great for ALL.
2. The first consequence did not match the need.
At first, Mr. Eddie tries sending Micah to the Principal. Of course this doesn't work! This consequence has nothing to do with what Micah is communicating.
Through his behavior, Micah is communicating that:
He's a young kid who can't control his ability to sit still and focus on something he's not interested in
He has a special interest that he can't stop thinking about
He wants to connect with his peers and teachers over his special interest
So it makes sense that sending him to the Principal (and further excluding him from the lesson) does not address the need.
And it makes sense that what DOES work is including Micah - bringing him IN with his special interest.
3. The smallest shift made all the difference.
Mr. Eddie didn't have to redesign the whole lesson - he simply put a picture of Bluey on the board!
We can apply this to kids of all ages. If a middle schooler has a special interest in basketball, how can we use that to engage them? If a high schooler has a special interest in Taylor Swift, how can they use that knowledge to be included in their community?