Education Assistants as Inclusive Leaders in Classrooms

by Linda Hill and Janice Maxwell

What if you arrive in your classroom one morning to find that everything is the same as it has always been except for one change?  What if no one in your classroom (absolutely no one) is reacting to disabilities and other differences as problems? What if, everyone (absolutely everyone) is now welcoming and accepting diverse abilities and all other differences as valuable gifts that enrich the classroom, the school, and the wider world?

These questions are answered in our new chapter, “Education Assistants as Inclusive Leaders in Classrooms” published in a groundbreaking new resource,

The Role of an Education Assistant: Supporting Inclusion.

Each chapter offers guidance and insight to anyone who wants to become an inclusive and welcoming education assistant or educator of any kind.

Our Chapter guides Education Assistants (and teachers, parents, students and everyone in any learning environment) to become Inclusive Leaders in their classrooms by mindfully and skillfully doing these three things over and over again:

  1. helping to create relaxed learning environments that bring out the best in everyone’s differences.
  2. being role models and mentors for compassionate communication.
  3. being allies and advocates who are prepared to stand up for inclusion.

The outcome is inclusion. Inclusion makes us feel like we belong. We feel comfortable and included when others notice us, welcome us, listen, empathize, respect, accept, encourage, value, and support us. We feel valued and heard. It feels safe to ask for what we need. Our human differences are accommodated, understood, and accepted. Our creativity and best performance comes forth. Inclusion is contagious. There is a ripple effect. A few inclusive leaders can change the tone and improve quality of life in their families, schools, community, workplaces, and beyond.

By learning and practicing these sets of skills for embracing diversity, education assistants can come to share leadership with teachers, parents, and all students in building learning environments based on safety, respect, equality and joy within their learning environments. 

Skilled and experienced Inclusive Leadership facilitators are available to come to your school to guide staff, students and their families to share leadership in guiding classrooms to become inclusive learning communities where all students experience acceptance and belonging. Contact the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative at or 250-746-6141.