Inclusive Schools Role Model Bettina Baranyi

In fact, Magyarcsanád is in one of the end points of Hungary, as it lies about ten kilometres from the Hungarian-Romanian border. This settlement is a very disadvantaged settlement. It has a small population of up to 1,500 people. And this small village has this small school. Four nationalities live side by side, the Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian and Roma nationalities. And that is why the specialty of this school is that we are a minority language education school.

In fact, I came here five years ago, so this is my fifth schoolyear that I am here as head of the institution, and even when the church asked me to run the institution, they indicated to me that there was a Roma mission possible, Roma mission programme of Synod Office , and that I should check them, or monitor them, that I might be able to get help, because they did suggest that there were quite a lot of problems here.

When all the Reformed schools had to fill out an online questionnaire assessing the composition of the student, that we were out of one of the most disadvantaged schools, and that I was invited to attend events that actually started us on a wonderful road. It was also a requirement in the tender to become an inclusive school, so we had to create an inclusive school development program, and we used the inclusion index book and its questionnaires, so we actually did a self-assessment, institutional self-assessment, parents, children, teachers were all interviewed and there were online questionnaires, and thus the survey revealed what our weaknesses were.

The result was conflict in management, major behavioural problems and relationships, namely the parent-teacher relationship, the teacher-student and the teacher-teacher ones, and mutual respect. Well, we've had three or four training sessions, so that teachers have learned to look behind problems, they've learned why a child with bad behaviour can be bad. So we really need to know the family background of the kids, and we really need to know where they come from, in fact, even on a daily basis, what is kids’ situation when coming to school or what happened at home this weekend. So it is very important to keep in constant contact with children and parents, to talk a lot, and to respond to aggression not by aggression, but with love. If there's a conflict, we'll discuss it immediately. Whether it's a conflict between children or a parent and a teacher or between teachers, we'll deal with the conflict immediately. There's no inclusion without an inclusive leader.

When I look at myself, I wasn't as inclusive as I am now, after five years, but I'm pretty sure I had some kind of seed in me. It needs a drive, because otherwise it doesn't work at all. So it takes a heart, a soul, a mind, and a sensitivity to that which the leader can then radiate out of themselves and hand it over, so to speak, to infect his colleagues. So in the beginning, especially when I got here, there wasn't exactly that approach, and it took some time for the teachers to see, that if we acted differently with these kids, it would be more effective than what they had used before. The only way out, or this is the only way out, especially in a small institution like this, is to change our perspective. Our relationship with parents is also getting better and we can reform parents through children. They feel that if they have a problem or conflict, we will deal with it immediately, so we will not drive it away or postpone it or anything else, but we will bear everyone's problems with our hearts. We try to find talent in every child, everyone's good at something, and we strengthen that side.

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