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View Diary: some observations from a classroom (124 comments)

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  •  I work near there. I'm glad you're there. (30+ / 0-)

    You will make a huge difference.

    My eye was drawn to "Others sometimes are focused and others get pulled into the silliness."  I'm raising two boys with ADD and that is classic ADD behavior.  I've talked to a number of education professionals who are experts in learning disabilities and they tell me with regret that it is the minority populations who most fight an LD label.  It's still got the "special ed"/"short bus" label. But with the right professional help, these kids can learn how to develop their focus or find alternative learning strategies.  These kids are usually whip smart, but they cannot demonstrate their intelligence because it's locked away.  

    I think of all the intervention and assistance that my kids have received over the years.  They are both at or ahead of grade level in most of their subjects.  My oldest is in middle school and makes honor roll most quarters.  They have a stable, secure and safe home life.  And I see how they struggle to succeed.  I can only imagine that putting even little roadblocks in the way of an LD boy could totally knock him off track for life.  

    I'm now convinced that for every teacher in school there needs to be three counselors, particularly with troubled populations like yours.  If we intensively focused on kids in grade school, but the time they got to Middle School, we'd know their issues and could better help them.  

    The adults in your kids' lives have failed them.  They are filling that leadership vacuum as best as they can.  If you do nothing but educate them about the long view of their lives and how to find better information for decision-making, you will have changed their trajectory significantly.  And if a counselor helps just one kid identify how best he processes information, he or she might be keeping one kid out of jail.

    All the best to you.  How can the community support you in your efforts?

    •  I may at some point ask for help (17+ / 0-)

      but for right now I am still trying to get my feet on the ground, learn the procedures, and most of all learn the kids - their names, strengths and weaknesses, interests, hot buttons, etc.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 07:19:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Coming from (10+ / 0-)

        an at-risk school, we have found that building relationships with the students is essential.  They will pick up on the fact that you care and are sincere, and that will help tremendously.  

        They also stumble, but with help can get back up and go forward again.  They don't always know that unless you tell them.  Sometimes you have to tell them many times--more than you would have to encourage a student from another type of school.  They have seen a lot of failure in their neighborhoods, families, and friends and may see a temporary setback as the beginning of their failure.  That is where mentors come in, reminding them that everyone makes mistakes and that they can learn from them and move on.  

        We are getting an auto-body repair program in our school, and I think it will motivate kids to come to school and give them an option to do something they like.  I have had students tell me they want to work on cars, etc., and don't want to take science, math, and other academic courses.  I think having the vocational course electives along with the core subjects will make the school experience more relevant to them.  We also have a cosmetology program that allows them to graduate fully licensed to work in a salon without having to spend thousands of dollars in a for-profit school.  These are jobs that can't be outsourced to another country and are needed in every community.  I want the stigma of vocational courses to disappear and have people see the value of them.  

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