I walked into a classroom, and saw the instructor (so agitated and upset. It seems the expectation was that the student would understand the information taught, with a simple one repeat, (possibly no repetition rule.
I’ve already explained that, weren’t you listening? “, “Its not difficult… Its not rocket science,..” was frequently repeated as the student grew smaller in her chair. Of course, I thought, you have a college degree so 4th grade mathematics should be easy for you. It wasn’t long before explanations came, that this student really needed an IEP so she could receive assistance. The parents did not want a label so the school could not give her the direct instruction needed??? Each year she was promoted to the next grade and the gaps in knowledge were growing to a chasm in comparison to her peers. As the students self esteem diminished, she quit trying, and eventually began to stay home from school more often. Each year, the story followed her, with comments and cruel judgments such as “”lazy, doesn’t try. There is much more, but in short, this is a repeating pattern.
First, I want to say, that although I do blame the teacher for not having patience, I also want to point out that one teacher alone could not make the change. Yes, teachers can make a difference, but the administrations of schools removes much of that possibility with mandated meetings and paperwork for statistical data, that often is already provided or could be gathered in other ways. Those who are great teachers often are not great admins , which is what the data job is more akin to. I hope that makes sense. Just as our students vary in abilities, so do our adults. All cannot be lumped into a group, with a single expectation ,to excel at everything, or failure is inevitable.
What is average, normal, the expected ability level. We all have strengths, and I agree that some needs are greater than others , however, Everyone has strengths to contribute, and areas of need, however if we steal time insisting that they excel at everything, demoralizing people for the faults we could find something to critique in everyone.
What can be done to change this? Who will make changes, should we call everyone out on this nonsense. If we don’t speak up, its like we’re saying that it is okay.
Please share a story, and any resolutions that were helpful to you. Ask others to join in the conversation. If the Emperor has no new clothes, we really need to say so.
Thank you for your time, and to all who celebrate Chanukkah, Happy Chanukkah.