Equity and Inclusion in Education

Nilmini Ratwatte-HenstridgeBlog, Connect Better, Engage Better, Lead Better, Manage Better, Reflect Better


  • Classroom management and creating a positive school culture are part of equity and inclusion.
  • Build meaningful relationships with students, colleagues, and the community.
  • Be a role model.
  • Don’t forget you are human and so are your students.
  • Be true to yourself. Be the good for others.

“Equity and Inclusion Just Got Better” Journaling/Reflection Questions

  1. What would you change about your practice after reading the blog?
  2. How would you build a relationship or maintain inclusive practices?
  3. What other questions do you have in your journey learning about equity?

I thought about the significance of Classroom Management 101…no way I could call this blog that! I had to change this title. No one is going to want to read about how to manage a classroom. However, I can tell any aspiring educator, managing your class will be the most important skill you will attain!

The best research that will guide your teaching career, in my opinion, would involve you teaching about this! Now the inspiration for a NEW blog title is still to come as I type this post…I think it is our role as educators to practice with equity at the center of our practice daily. We want every single student who walks through our classroom doors to feel included and a part of our school culture since we live in a diverse world full of opportunities to learn from each other.

Teach the whole child. Consider what they bring with them to school each day, and be unbiased about actually helping the student be successful in your classroom. Click To Tweet

1. The most important thing: relationships.

Everything depends on the relationships you build, maintain, and develop over the years that contribute positively to your role in education.

With your students

  • Plan together as a class with student-centered lessons.
  • Handle conflicts when they arise.
  • Set your standards high for behavior expectations.
  • Hold students accountable so they learn how to manage their emotions.
  • Teach your best lessons and have fun.

With your colleagues

  • Maintain professional boundaries.
  • Have fun at work.
  • Know your people who have your back.
  • Teach and learn from others.
  • Some people are not going to work with your students; be there for support and keep them at arm’s length.
  • Plan together. There’s no better knowledge than from another teacher.
  • Build your network, professional learning community, and friendships.

With your community

  • Work together with parents from your classroom.
  • Work with your community partnerships.
  • Live in the community so you own the experience or spend time there so you know the neighborhoods and families.
  • Make time for the celebrations.
  • Be there for others to advocate for rights and inspire.
  • Be genuine; where you’re teaching really should be where your heart is.

2. Practice what you preach.

  • Walk the talk when it comes to holding high expectations towards all students.
  • Be a role model.
  • Really know your identity and work towards understanding how others perceive you.
  • Flexibility and differentiation are key. Since no two students are the same, you have to build classroom management strategies that work for each student to build the classroom community.
  • In my classroom it does not matter what cultural heritage you are as a student, you need to accomplish the best you can and grow from the lessons that will guide you throughout the year.
  • Teach the whole child. Consider what they bring with them to school each day, and be unbiased about actually helping the student be successful in your classroom.
  • I totally do believe this, “No one comes to school wanting to have a bad day, no child, no adult.” The key is when they are having a bad day then help with the de-escalation process by having the best of intentions. Believe in changing the education system.
  • Start each day new. Forgive, forget, and move forward at the end of each day so nothing negative continues onwards.
  • Know that all of us in education are human first. We have our own things we have to deal with, and we have our own life moments we are coping with, celebrating, and managing to the best of our abilities.
  • Build mindful moments, times to speak, classroom community, friendships, and moments that make it special for the class to stay together and work at their own pace.
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3. Hold yourself accountable.

These key concepts have guided me through my years in education:

  • Learn to take on things that you are passionate about; it will help you.
  • Say “no” gracefully when needed.
  • Be compassionate towards everyone.
  • Speak up when injustice happens.
  • Walk away when you have to and self-preserve with your personal goals and accomplish what you want to.
  • Aspire to be a lifelong learner.
  • Know you’re human. You really are, and you have to go in with that mindset of being a lifelong learner that values all student voices and opinions.

Yours in Education,



Shriyder, Anne Marie. “Being Brown in a Black and White World.” 2021.

About Nilmini Ratwatte-Henstridge

Nilmini Ratwatte-Henstridge teaches in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. She was born in Sri Lanka and immigrated to Canada with her family. As an Elementary School Teacher who is passionate about Equity, Social Justice, and Human Rights in education, she enjoys teaching the younger generation to be global-minded citizens.

Discovering the world by connecting with others is an opportunity that we have today in our society today and she loves meeting new people! She is always learning while traveling to understand the inter-connectedness of this beautiful earth we live in! Nilmini LOVES cooking great meals, watching movies, and the latest fashion trends! Family and friends are close to her heart as she looks forward to balancing social media and navigating professional learning communities in education to network globally this year!