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 Adah 
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While reading the Poisionwood Bible Adah reminds me of the students who have learning disabilities. Adah is a very intelligent little girl in the book. She is sharp as a tack but her physical abilities make people think otherwise.

This raised a few questions for me...How do help our students with physical or emotional disablitiel not feel like pity is being bestowed upon them? Alot of times these students see things in different ways. I have a little girl who is developmentally delayed and I found out that the one thing she loves to do is help...It does not matter with what...And one day I asked her to sit on the rug to set a good example for the rest of the students. SHE WAS SO HAPPY! And when I told another teacher about this she said..well she is dumb she doesn't know the differenence anyway...This stuck out in my mind...BIG TIME! Because that is not the case . The little girl just knew she was setting the good example for the rest of the class.

I guess what I am saying is lets not misjudge our students with
disabilities. How can we use multiple intelligences to help all of our students? What strategies would you have to respond to the teacher that made the remark "She is dumb?" How do you help ALL students feel like they are making difference?


Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:40 pm
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Jenny I totally agree with all of your statements....ALL children must feel a part of the group and feel valued no matter what! You can take this further with the behavior problem children. I know some teachers just allow the 'good" students to do special things and help out in special ways and never allow the behavior problems a chance to help out and belong. Even if a child has gone to hte office multiple times, he still deserves to feel valued and important in some way. Sometimes allowing these children to do special things can encourage them and motivate them to want to do better. They may cause problems but be very bright students and be able to help other students with thier work. If only every child got these chances!!!

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Melissa Ervin


Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:26 pm
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When I taught at Claremont, our school contained the hearing impaired cluster for the county. One HI student could get on the computer and draw beautiful pictures. I wish I could draw like that on the computer. Another student that I taught for two years, scored a 4 on his reading test last year. Having a disability does not make you stupid. To score a four when you have trouble hearing means that you are highly intelligent. I wish some of the other students who do not have disabilitites would try as hard as some on the students with disabilities do. That teacher who called the child names needs to find herself another line of work. How can she be an effective teacher without compassion and understanding? I would like to tell off people like her. :twisted:

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Debra Shook Manasco


Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:45 pm
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Yes, never judge a book by its cover! The old saying is so true. I just heard a staff member today telling a story about a child that she helps out with at school. The child is autistic and has a one on one but no other modifications are made for him when it comes to his school work. His parents expect him to learn and do his work just like all the other kids in the class. When I heard this I must admit, I thought they may be setting him up for failure. However, his one on one went on to say that he was about two points away from making a 4 on his last years EOG!! Wow!! How awsome is that!! He is autistic and is not allowed out of the teachers site, but is smart enough to score an A on his EOG!! This made me realize how smart "labled" students may be, but at times how educators dismiss their brightness as soon as they see the child's "label." I myself have been guilty of this as well! However, this story has helped me to see how bright disabled students really can be!! I hope to never judge a students educational abilities again based on whatever label they are assigned.

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Shea Richey


Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:27 pm
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No matter what the background of a student I believe all students can learn. All students learn at a different rate and in different ways. I have been blessed with a student now for the past 2 years. He is on the developmentallly delayed. He is nine years old and in my second grade class. Academically he more like a kindergartener. Previous to him being in my first grade class, he spent two years in Kindergarten across the hall from my classroom. I remember watching him come in each day being dragged by his Granny. He would scream and holler from the second he walked in the school. It broke my heart. He absolutely hated school. He hated school and it was obvious to him that he wasn't learning like the other children. I was blessed with him in first grade and now again in second grade. He has only been drug in once. He absolutely loves school. At the end of last school year he even cried because he didn't want to leave me and my assistant. I think the key to winning him over was to show him unconditional love, support, and encouragement. No matter what we are doing, he takes part. He is never left out and often surprises me with what he is capable of. I often ask him to help me with tasks. I have paired him with a peer who is probably the smartest child in my classroom. However, the two work together wonderfully. You just have to be open minded to try different things until you find what works. I also am a firm believer that if you show your students love, it can work miracles!


Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:15 pm
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My first year teaching I had many students who had official labels or reputations. Being a new teacher I did not know the difference and treated everyone as capable and valued. I have worked to continue this each year. It's hard to hear others limit what students can do, but in my experience the more you expect the harder students work to achieve. We may not all get to the same place at the same time, but we have the same goal in mind.

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Natalie Burris


Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:21 pm
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I don't think this topic needs to be focused only on students with labels. Think about all of the "average" students who sit quietly in class. Perhaps, like Adah, there is something exceptional that they have to share, but for whatever reason, something is keeping them quiet.


Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:54 pm
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Remembering that there are students like Adah who can closely watch, observe, and learn from us teachers is so important! The last three years I have had the opportunity to work with a boy who is autistic and unfortuntely was unable to stay at our school to receive the help he needed in education. I have remained connected with him and we meet to work together on social skills. I have learned more about my teaching, methods, and approaches from Collin than any other student I have ever taught. These students help you to not only learn more about how to be a more effective teacher, but I have learned more about myself personally through the eyes of a seven-year-old. He may not be able to tell me a word on a page but he can look at me and read my emotions or remember a memory we shared three years ago. All children have special gifts, talents, and whether or not it's excelling on a test, they do need to be acknowledged and praised.

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Jessica Denninger


Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:08 pm
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