Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Imagine if you will a day that goes a little something like this….You show up to school every day in order to go to six different class periods with six individual teachers, each with a set of rules, instructions, assignments, different personalities, even different ways to write your name on the top of a sheet of paper in order to receive credit for that assignment. Imagine that you do this day in and day out, working as diligently as possible only to barely manage a 1.5 grade average. Only to feel every single day that you just aren’t smart enough or that you aren’t working hard enough. Only to feel as if you really don’t fit in socially either? Only to feel in your own eyes that you are “stupid”. How many of you would sign up for that job?

This is a day in the life of my students in Special Education and yet…And yet, they show up every day to give everything they have in order to be educated. To learn as much as they possibly can before they go out into the “real” world where things are even more confusing. And they amaze me every single day with their resiliency. They are the reason that I wake up every day at 5am and drive 20 miles. They are the reason that I work as hard as I can to help them achieve their dreams to be the very best that they can be in life.

So tell me, who amazes you?


Blogger Caroline S said...

I agree with you that kids amaze me. With all the pressures that are on the students today it amazes me that they are functioning. Some are supporting their families, others are carring a schedule that never lets them rest.
Even the students that are over achievers amaze me that they burn the candle at bith ends and not burn out.

10:56 AM  
Blogger rayh said...

Thanks for reminding us of that. How often we see these students as lazy or un motivated when they really are dealing with failure after failure. The real challenge in teaching is to reach those students and help facilitate their successes.
It reminds me of how often I take on home improvement projects and how easily I get discouraged when it doesn't come out right.
I hope staff remembers to reach out to these students with extraordinary patience at this time of year, even as we are all very tired and sometimes discouraged, knowing that these kids must be feeling that in geomtric proportions.
Thanks for the great post Kimber!

2:03 PM  
Blogger ChingyenG said...

It's a mixed bag. To make the best of anything, we almost inevitably have to take the good with the bad. We are not going to like everybody we meet or work with. Does it matter all the time? Probably not. But does it matter sometimes? You bet.

I have been told many times by students that because they didn't like certain teachers, they just quit caring and stop producing anything for that class. Classic, isn't it? I have always reminded them that their learning was the only casualty in their scenario. Did that change their tactic? Not always.

That amazes me; a person is willing to give up something potentially beneficial for him/herself just because he/she does not like someone else. That puts an interesting spin on Maslow's self-actualization theory, doesn't it?

7:24 AM  
Blogger Sally G said...

When we were first considering the possibility of eliminating Basic Skills classes for upper level Language Arts, I querried my sophomore Basic Skills class about the class' value. I was struck by how emphatic my students were in their support for the program: not just because it was easier, but because for the first time, they felt they could hold their own. They were in a friendly environment, one that let them contribute to their abilities and feel good about themselves. I know there are certain downsides to that segregation. But I understand their need for environmental self-esteem building.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Cheryl S. said...

To add to the scenario, many of these students do it w/ very little support or encouragement at home. In fact, many of them are responsible for many of the daily duties around the house, including the care of younger siblings. Several of my students, here and at the elementary school, come to school w/o the supplies they need and embarassed to ask for help. But, they do their best and find ways to succeed! It is amazing :-)

1:52 PM  
Blogger Krueger said...

I love working with my Special Ed. students. They are so full of life and energy. They love learning technology and I love teaching it to them for this reason. This is why I spend one of my off hours every single Friday with them. I wish all of the students here at AHS had this same drive and desire to learn.

3:59 PM  

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