I'm struggling with teaching in a self contained classroom and balancing out a belief that a "regular classroom" could work for all students if the classroom was transformed in to a real learning environment. This year we have been "including" a couple of my students quite a bit and its working really well but its working around making modifications for that student and I think that if you started from the ground and built up it could be so much more for all students. I think it could be what we need to zero in on balancing academics with fostering democratic community related skills.
So I'm at the point of thinking that there are two ways to keep moving forward. One is to continue to move my students in to regular classrooms and support as much as I can from the outside looking in. The other is to jump in, get my own classroom (perhaps with a kid or two or three that is currently in my room in the mix) and build a classroom that works for all learners and then share what I'm doing with others in the hopes of someone else jumping on board (or better yet... find the others who are doing it because there are some and creating a movement).
I'm torn because I can see the advantages to both (although when I put it down in writing I can see also where my heart is pulling me). Should be an interesting process of seeing where this thought leads me!