Shelley Moore is a groundbreaking and inspirational teacher, speaker, and storyteller. Her book, One Without the Other: Stories of Unity Through Diversity and Inclusion, tackles inclusion as a philosophy and practice, the difference between integration and inclusion, and how inclusion can work with a variety of students and abilities.
Through her work, you can tell how passionate she is about inclusive education, curriculum, and teacher professional development.
Read our interview with Shelley Moore below to learn more about her accomplishments and about where her passion for inclusion comes from.
You have shown such passion promoting success and inclusion for all learners, where does this dedication stem from?
I could never have imagined that my life’s path would have taken me in this direction. I was very much a student who struggled in school, and the stories and anecdotes that I share were just my way of learning from and helping my own teaching practice. I knew I went into education so that I could work with kids like me and hopefully help make their schooling experience better than mine, but I just cannot believe that so many people are listening and reading these stories and making a change in the lives of their students. The work feeds my soul knowing the possible impact this journey can have on the lives of the kids we work with.
In previous interviews you have said, “We don’t do inclusion. We live it.” Can you elaborate on this message and its importance?
Inclusion lives in two worlds: the philosophical and the practical. Philosophically, most of us agree that inclusion is important, but practically, there are so many versions and definitions of how it should be enacted that it makes it very hard to work towards a common vision. As a result, the practicalities of inclusion become very misunderstood, and we lose track of the why.
To “live” inclusively is to never lose track of the why, because without it, we can’t do it. Without the why, inclusion becomes about training and programs and less about the people—the students and the families that we are trying to serve. To “live” inclusion means that we advocate for it, no matter what. We commit to doing the best we can with what we have. Even when resources are low, and funding is cut, and people are tired and kids are upset. Resources are not the gatekeeper of inclusion, belief is—which is why “living it” is so critical to the journey.
Your second book, All for One: Designing Individual Education Plans for Inclusive Classrooms will be released in early 2021. What can teachers expect from this book?
In my first book, One without the Other, we dig into the “what” and “why” of inclusion. In All for One, we start to look at the “how.” All for One will tackle Individual Education Plans (IEPS) and take readers through a journey of how teachers in British Columbia came together to evolve the IEP process and make it more inclusive and aligned to 21st century curriculum and learning with aims to guide school teams in how to plan for individuals in inclusive classrooms.
Five Moore Minutes, your YouTube series, has been an incredible resource for educators since you launched it a year ago. What has been the biggest lesson you have learned both personally and professionally since launching the series?
Five Moore Minutes has been such a fun project to work on. Another venture that I didn’t anticipate being so successful. I think what I have learned through the process is the importance of time and that we cannot rush the learning of educators. So often, professional development is provided as a one-time, one-hit wonder in large amounts. It is so hard to implement and reflect and process and learn all at the same time. So creating these little videos has taught me how important the time is for targeting little chunks of learning and reflection over time. This allows for conversations to occur and questions to be asked. It encourages small applications and adjustments to our practice in ways that are fun and light.
I will also add that trying to synthesize my thinking and learning into a five-minute script is quite the process. It has definitely helped to solidify my thinking and my confidence in understanding the concepts we are uncovering.
You often use analogies like bowling and the sweeper van to teach educators about inclusion. Why do you think these analogies resonate with educators?
I love analogies. They are how I learn about big ideas and concepts. I wish I had learned the strategy earlier in my life! The visualization and application of metaphors and how they apply to my life is so critical to my learning process. Through this, I am realizing that more people than I thought might also learn like me.
All for One: Designing Individual Education Plans for Inclusive Classrooms will be available in 2021. You can pre-order your copy now.