I like to think of the SWIFT features as the “Top 10 ways to make your school fully inclusive,” and SWIFT-FIG is your guide for understanding those features.
Recently, I listened to a conversation about what makes something a popular blog post. The response was that the most popular blog posts are the ones that include the top 3-5 tips for how to do something. I didn’t really think much about that conversation until I was asked to write this. In preparation, I actually Googled “how to write a blog post.” I should probably be ashamed to admit that, but the truth is, Google is how I begin almost any new task that is set before me. So, there I am, staring at the results, and I notice a trend. Each of the headlines began something like this: “Write a blog post in 5 easy steps,” “Ten tips for writing a blog post,” “12 dos and don’ts for writing a blog post,” and my favorite, “How to write a blog post in 30 minutes.”
After reading several of those responses, I narrowed it down to my top three favorite tips for writing a blog post:
1) “Keep it short.” I won’t lie. I mainly picked this one because it helped with the whole goal of writing it in less than 30 minutes.
2) “Write with passion.” Now, this one should be easy, because when I write blog posts, I write them for SWIFT Talk, and there is no topic I am more passionate about than equity-based inclusion.
3) “Include a list.” Check!
So, now that I have my marching orders, I am going to attempt to write passionately, concisely, and in a list format about SWIFT’s latest resource, SWIFT Feature Introduction Guide (FIG). SWIFT-FIG is a “how to” guide for the features of the SWIFT framework. It includes three parts:
1) “SWIFT in 60.” The “SWIFT in 60” video series is the foundation of SWIFT-FIG. The videos, created by SWIFT filmmaker Dan Habib, define the features of SWIFT, while showing examples of the features in action.
2) “In-Depth.” The in-depth section is where users can dive deeper into the content of SWIFT. Compare this section to what you may find if you were to Google “how to make my school fully inclusive of ALL students.” This section includes introductory PowerPoints on the SWIFT features, discussion guides to accompany the “SWIFT-in-60” videos, and a list of actionable steps your school can take to implement each feature.
3) “Resources.” The final section of SWIFT-FIG is a list of resources that can be used to support implementation. These resources include helpful websites, publications, and tools.
When I talk to people about inclusive education, I usually get one of two responses. People are either reluctant to believe inclusion is best for all students, or they believe it is the right thing, but they don’t know how to do it in a way that is best for all students. At SWIFT, our goal is to convey the message of both “why” and “how.” The “why” is because we know equity-based inclusion is the right thing to do, and we know that when students get the supports they need in inclusive settings, all students have better outcomes. The “how” is found in the features of the SWIFT framework. I like to think of the SWIFT features as the “Top 10 ways to make your school fully inclusive,” and SWIFT-FIG is your guide for understanding those features.
In an effort to follow rule #1 (“Keep it short”), I am going to leave you with the link to access SWIFT-FIG. Please check it out, and send us your feedback. Our plan is to continuously update this tool with new resources, so we encourage you to send us suggestions or resources you find useful and would like to share. You can email suggestions or resources through the email function of SWIFT-FIG at guide.swiftschools.org or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Allyson Satter
Allyson Satter currently works as a Project Coordinator for SWIFT. Previously, she worked as a special educator, which is where she first learned the value of equity-based inclusion.