May 14, 2013
I am one of those people who did not have a great schooling experience. I did not always learn quickly and I sometimes found the pace of the classroom overwhelming. However, once I began to work in a school, it soon became apparent that the majority of students were not being served by the traditional classroom and teaching methods. Then came the question why? Often time I heard teachers say that the child was unmotivated and unwilling to learn. I am very uncomfortable with this way of thinking and I want to see all the students succeed. The question of how is what always stumps me. What can I do to help all students.
I was very fortunate to work alongside a very passionate and caring resource teacher who tried every approach she could think of to help struggling students. However,it often felt as though we were losing ground rather than gaining. This winter I took a EPSY 400 class. I really enjoyed the content and everything I was learning and I often thought back to my former students and making connection. On a few occasions we watched videos by Rick Lavoie, a very educated man in the area of special education. The way that he frames the picture of a learning disabled student’s experiences in the classroom really hit home for me. I was relying too much on the resource teacher’s suggestions when there is so much that the classroom teacher can do him or herself. If you every have the opportunity to watch or read anything by Rick Lavoie I encourage you to do so. I assure you that it will be time well spent. You likely have an ah ha moment like I did and you will never look at students in the same way again. I would recommend the F.A.T City video to begin with. Recorded in the 90s, it is somewhat dated but the information still applies.
Here is a sample of F.A.T City