Embracing Neurodiversity: A Workshop at Crane Country Day School

Professional Learning

As dusk settled on a mid-February evening, I found myself aboard a flight home, energized by the enriching experience of leading a professional learning workshop for over sixty staff members at Crane Country Day School. This engagement marked a pivotal step in the school’s commitment to embracing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging among its two hundred and fifty K-8 students, focusing on the crucial theme: An Introduction to Neurodiversity and Learning Differences.

The essence of this two-and-a-half-hour workshop was foundational, aimed at supporting educators and school leaders as they navigate the path towards inclusivity by embracing neurodiversity. The concept that we all think and learn differently is central to fostering an educational environment where every student, especially those with specific learning disabilities (SLDs) or learning differences, can access learning without facing unintentional barriers.

Our workshop at Crane Country Day School directly tied the principles of Eye to Eye’s professional learning to the broader mission of inclusion. By acknowledging and understanding neurodiversity, we inch closer to realizing an anti-ableist world that embraces our differences and sees them as strengths.

Inclusive education, a framework dating back to 1994, seeks to ensure that all students receive high-quality instruction tailored to their diverse needs regardless of challenges. This principle aligns with Eye to Eye’s belief in Universal Design for Learning—a strategy we ardently support for creating accessible learning experiences for all students.

Our workshop invited participants to reflect on their mindsets and beliefs about teaching, learning, and neurodiversity. Through this introspection and shared knowledge, we aimed to encourage shifts in practice that lead to an educational environment where every student feels a sense of belonging, is seen, heard, valued, and set up for success.

The Crane Country Day School workshop began what we hope will be a transformative journey toward embracing neurodiversity. By starting with reflection and moving towards actionable strategies, we lay the groundwork for a future where every learner can thrive. To learn more about our Professional Learning for Educators, please click here.

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