View Full Version : Questions from me: ADDer and future SpEd teacher


Slowpoke
03-28-04, 01:13 AM
Hello!
I am a 25 yr old univ. student, working on a double major and going into B.Ed program next september...
I am going to be either an english as a second language teach or a sp. ed teacher....
I wanted to ask some questions to the parents here to give me an idea of what you feel is lacking in the schools...

I am trying to get a sense of what children feel they need from the school. It can be anything from special programs, more support, different programming... anything to give me some ideas of what is out ther right now and what you all think would benefit your child.

Thanks!!
...now back to the paper...
ew.

Nucking_Futs
06-26-04, 10:40 PM
Slowpoke,

Both my son and daughter are ADHD. Dakota is very intelligent and advanced, we had a lot of difficulty with his teacher wanting to stay in his curriculum if he acted up instead of using his behaviour management excercise's (which she has a list of cues and he does them himself) she would take his paper away and make him work on what his classmates were working on, my son is in the fourth grade but is working on the 8th and 9th grade level on most subjects...this left him feeling "retarded" (his words)...he felt he was so much more stupid then the other kids because they knew how to sit still and he couldn't. HOw did he react? by becoming more and more belligerant and defiant in class. You don't call a child stupid and tell them to stop acting like an animal if you want them to show you respect.

My daughter on the other hand is a little slower then her class but we'll probably never know if it's from ADD or the lack of oxygen to her brain when she was an infant. She maintains a B average but struggles for every point. Her teachers favorite word was "lazy" after realizing that she couldn't say that word in MY prescence she would start mumbling it in Lexi's...That behaviour did not last long either. Once my daughter finished her reading program in one night and went in for her prize so her teacher assigned 5 more books and when that was accomplished she wouldn't give her the prize because one of the reports was not finished. NOw the original assignment was COMPLETED.

My advice communication with the parents and students will get you the furthest. My kids know that any bad behaviour in class is punished at home as well with the loss of t.v., etc.

Good luck!!!! And remember my children have had teachers they would jump the moon for and never had a complaint sent home. The golden rule works best with most everyone.

waywardclam
06-27-04, 01:23 PM
In my experience, the things most lacking in the schools are the things that are beyond the teacher's control... small class sizes, budgets that are immune to slashing, etc...

FlakeyGirl
06-27-04, 01:51 PM
I would say we need emphasis on teaching kids *how* to be good students. I guess you could put these things under the heading of "study skills." Taking good notes, planning time for tests and projects, keeping themselves supplied with adequate materials, and discovering his or her most effective learning style are things that could benefit students all through school and beyond. I realize that teachers are already pressed with the task of completing the existing curricula, but spending a few weeks at the beginning of each school year reviewing and building on study skills would be worth it in the long run.

I tell my elementary school aged kids that their grades make no difference to me. Their processes make more difference to me than results at this point. If they take initiative and really prepare for a test, reading and looking at notes days before the test, and still get a D, I'll reward them for the work. On the other hand if they save a project till the last minute and end up half-***ing it, and still get a good grade, I'll be less than excited for them.

pershingd
06-27-04, 02:19 PM
As a teacher, one of the most important things you need is unconditional positive regard for the child. Many special ed kids (and regular ed for that matter) have been looked down upon and made to feel stupid. No matter how old they are - the kids recognize when they are being belittled and react negatively to it.

You want too make a difference in a kid's life? Give a darn about them and their feelings. Discipline when necessary, but make sure they know that just because you follow through doesn't mean that they aren't as "good" an anyone else. Never hold a grudge and never try to get even. Don't take the negative things that may happen personally. Do take the positive personally. Be willing to forget about the things that the student would rather forget.

Once students realize that you see them as important and that you are trying to help them - you'll go further than anyone else with those students.

Good Luck,
David

Nucking_Futs
06-27-04, 04:48 PM
And sadly there are children's parents who just don't seem to get it or do not spend the time to work with their child. Do not lose hope for every parent like that there are parents like me and my sister in law who listen and will go to the end of the earth to try any suggestions you may have as long as you listen to some of our suggestions as well.

But, most of all remember it's impossible for any child to sit still for long periods of time, all kids are wired engergetic so give little breaks such as educational games to let them stand and walk and rest their minds. I live in Nebraska so there are days that recess is impossible they expect the children to sit in their classroom's and read. Then sit thru their studies. I don't know about you but I have never met an adult who could do this let alone a child.

fuzzybrain
01-30-06, 11:51 AM
PershingD
I like what you said about the positive thinking-I believe wholeheartedly in this thing called unconditional love-conveyed by eye contact, speech-and yes expectation does come with that-I think especially ADD-ADHDers have to work twice as hard to accomplish half as much, I know as I am one-I have a hard time picking out details, or prioritizing-what is more important? Just thinking these things can overwhelm my little brain, so focusing on one thing-simplifying it, and then expecting the best from them-has to work with them, has to say to them that here is someone who won't accept anything other than my best efforts, who won't let me make excuses or just "get by"-Ihave to work, but work is good and I have to go toward something to make it better-to get that message across to students is what I want to convey as a teacher. thanks for that.

pershingd
01-31-06, 11:02 AM
You are most welcome.

One thing to keep in mind is that it will be harder at times than others. Right now I have a lot of students that aren't giving me any effort much less their best. Thank you for reminding me of that.

David

bhj1234
02-02-06, 04:39 PM
I also think it would be helpful to teach to all types of learning in kiddo's. Visual, auditory, etc. Not all kids learn the same, and to me schools lean to auditory styles.

pershingd
02-02-06, 05:00 PM
I agree completely.

It easier said than done, however. Schools are taking on the problem as best they can (some more than others) but there are limitations. Teaching to all styles will usually result in the need for larger classrooms and fewer students in those classrooms. It needs the best teachers, but schools are having problems retaining the best teachers. They are drawn away from the classrooms by better paying opportunities on the outside. Small schools lose teachers to the larger schools because of the larger school's ability to pay a better salary. I could go on.

Everyone slams public education for doing a poor job, but few want to face the financial reality of an educational system that depends on tax payer dollars.

I teach because that's all I ever wanted to do. I do the best I can with the resources at my disposal - many of which I had to purchase at my own expense. I'd like to see the experts' reaction to having to pay for their resources out of their pocket.

Sorry, this is a sore spot for me. I didn't mean to rant.
David

scuro
02-02-06, 08:21 PM
My advice communication with the parents and students will get you the furthest.

Yes NF, you are so right here, good communication and understanding are key. You can have excellent communication skills but if you don't understand, then really that skill becomes no more then a form of verbal massage. Some parents need that but in the end you have to "know" best practices, or you are just spinning the kids wheels. That is a tall task for someone new because Spec Ed is a job that requires an immense knowledge base, and this base of knowledge is not static. Parents want teachers who understand their kids as well as they do. They are even more impressed when you have an equal or better understanding of the difficulties facing their child and you have solutions that work.

fuzzybrain
02-16-06, 12:53 PM
well said, Scuro-
but how do you draw the line between understanding and communicating that-and not becoming too involved to render yourself useless. I always need to have that "step back" objectivity before I involve myself in whatever the child needs to succeed, sometimes is that hard, to step back, when all you want to do is love them to death? Just wondering. Lori

Scattered
02-16-06, 01:08 PM
I think really understanding the basis for learning disorders and ADHD is incredibly important. I also think it is even more important for all students (especially ADHD and LD kids) to identify and work with their strengths. I really like what Rudolph Dreukers has to say about this -- read some of his stuff if you ever have a chance. He really focuses on building on strengths -- otherwise we spend all our time on what kids are weak in and discouraging them to the point where they expect failure and quit trying. Build on their strengths and they'll have the courage to also attack their weak areas.


Scattered

pershingd
02-16-06, 03:48 PM
I think really understanding the basis for learning disorders and ADHD is incredibly important. I also think it is even more important for all students (especially ADHD and LD kids) to identify and work with their strengths. I really like what Rudolph Dreukers has to say about this -- read some of his stuff if you ever have a chance. He really focuses on building on strengths -- otherwise we spend all our time on what kids are weak in and discouraging them to the point where they expect failure and quit trying. Build on their strengths and they'll have the courage to also attack their weak areas.


Scattered
Excellent point Scattered!

This is especially true when dealing with ADHD. I could list several examples from my life that would provide examples of this, but I don't wish to bore everyone. The hardest thing many people with ADHD and/or LD will ever have to do is personalize the concept that they have strengths. ADHD has a nasty habit of focusing the individual so much on their weaknesses that it can be quite difficult for him/her to see what they are good at.

David Pershing

fuzzybrain
02-24-06, 11:23 AM
Just a question,
How do you go about this daunting task-though it is worthwhile, what and how do you find something positive-they have been reinforced, some of them, to act out-they get all kinds of perks, attention-mostly-they get-"see I told you I can't make friends" or what ever-it becomes a self fullfilling prophecy for them, they have gotten themselves into a hole and can't dig out of it-how in the world do you communicate to them that yes, they do have things they can do that can add to someone's life or help-? Just rambling here, playing devil's advocate-thanks >L

pershingd
02-24-06, 11:46 AM
I will start by apologizing if I seem to minimalize the scope of the problem with my response.

Everyone is different and has different demons to fight so the process is really dependent upon your individual circumstances. Looking back, I found that each time I've made headway, it involved a someone I held in high regard believing in me more than I believed in myself. Not only did they push me forward, they were there to catch me when I stumbled. Once I met with enough success that I believed in myself, I was able to move forward without the need for the suport. I really believe that success builds upon itself.

I know that if you search around the forums you will find a variety of different ways people have made the journey. What works for you will depend on where you've been in life. There's no one sure fire way to step up to the challenge.

David

Scattered
02-24-06, 12:14 PM
I really believe that success builds upon itself.I totally agree with this statement. In my case I really struggled with school, then along comes band and I do pretty well. Then I had a really great Algebra teacher that get me through my worst subject with an A. It felt like an accident but it improved my self confidence. I ended up graduated from High School with honors and college with high honors. I think not only did my study skills improve as well as finding what techniques worked to focus me, but I started to believe I could do it. You know the old saying, "If you believe you can or if you believe you can't -- you're probably right!"

Scattered

jess
02-24-06, 02:23 PM
I recon if there is one teacher in school who is able to see even one great point in achild . even if he is a right little terrorist !!!! Hell that kid would walk coals for that person. To have even one teacher that you feel understans when all else around is falling appart. I lost count how manny times i had nuns at school tell me ahh you got the the devil in you you do young lady. ( all in an irish accent !!) great to copy !! hey ho

fuzzybrain
02-26-06, 10:35 PM
Another question here,
How do you find out what will "focus you" into an area that holds great interest for you, I know I want to teach special ed, but there are so many things-sub things that would involve concentration-I have trouble with that, I really do-putting something on the back burner for me will get burnt because I totally forget about it-oops, then it is too late, just your passions, and dreams turned into reality? Into goals and objectives? What was your journey? thanks for answering.

scuro
02-27-06, 12:39 AM
well said, Scuro-
but how do you draw the line between understanding and communicating that-and not becoming too involved to render yourself useless. I always need to have that "step back" objectivity before I involve myself in whatever the child needs to succeed, sometimes is that hard, to step back, when all you want to do is love them to death? Just wondering. Lori

I work with High School kids. They have lost much of their cuteness and lovableness by then. :) I try very hard to keep a distance because you can get yourself into big trouble, especially as a male, if you get too close.

How do you know if this is the job for you? There is lots of drudge work but there are wonderful breakthroughs also. Some kids will always remember you as making a huge difference in your life. For me, that is worth all the snarkiness that you will eventually get from admin, parents, fellow teachers, and occasional student.

pershingd
02-27-06, 09:59 AM
I work with High School kids. They have lost much of their cuteness and lovableness by then. :) I try very hard to keep a distance because you can get yourself into big trouble, especially as a male, if you get too close.

How do you know if this is the job for you? There is lots of drudge work but there are wonderful breakthroughs also. Some kids will always remember you as making a huge difference in your life. For me, that is worth all the snarkiness that you will eventually get from admin, parents, fellow teachers, and occasional student.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

David

fuzzybrain
03-16-06, 12:23 PM
I just have another question, if you can't get "too close", how are you supposed to make a significant difference in their life, I guess I mean, how close is too close-just common sense, huh?

pershingd
03-16-06, 12:59 PM
That's the million dollar question.

I think it has to do with what the kids need. Some need someone that listens without passing judgement. Others will need much more than that. I've had students in which I was more a parent than anything else. There's no way to tell what they need until they trust you. The students will show you what they need if you are patient, perceptive, and willing enough. You can't force this issue - if you do you won't get anywhere.

I've had years in which I walked in the gray fuzzy area of what some would consider a "normal" teacher-student relationship. As long as you are aware of (and never cross) the clear boundaries that lie along moral/ethical guidelines you'll reach many students. You will never be able to reach them all, but the ones that need you the most will succeed.

I hope this helps.

David

PS - I've never had a parent openly resent me for being willing to step in and help their child. :)

fuzzybrain
03-20-06, 12:13 PM
OKay, David,
Thanks for the help here, because I want to care, and I already do so very much about the kids who just need someone in their corner, you convey to them that you believe in them-who they are-not just what they can do-and you feel so very much-sorry for them, yeah that is part of it-like you want to make up for the bad times they have had, then you realize you can't, and that maybe you are just rescuing them, but then that is all you can do-they won't or can't learn for themselves what they need to do to take responsibility for themselves, that is what it all comes down to-in order to change their lives to make it better-how do you teach them that-what steps do you take to make them independent thinkers? thanks for the insight, I need it.

jc10101
01-02-08, 03:06 AM
i totally agree with what pershingd and scuro said. I graduated from high school in 2000. As an adult with adhd/add/aspergers/anxiety, etc I think the thing that really ****ed me off about the education system, is teachers, students not understanding what hell some of there students have been going though. Most people in that school system thing theres only one kind of add or adhd(and your born with it) when there are several symptoms.

Alot of them think that we were developed with these issues and they cant be treated, when in fact they can. and with Scuro saying that if a teacher gets to close to a student in high school they can be in major trouble. especially if your male. (even with the news related to teachers having relationships with there students(even with the students permission) they still can get in trouble. i think that is over-defined. By high school pretty much it was to late for me to really understand how to be successful after school. (the material was boring back then 7-15 yrs ago,

it may be different now) that alot of add/adhd students either graduated(and seemed even stupider (especially if you have aspergers, and have a small amount of interests. )or dropped out completely, if you search youtube you can find thousands of people going though hell, . now Looking back due to the legal issues, teachers seem to not want to get closer to the students, to really understand what there going though, and of course theres a confidential clause in most iep, educational systems.

As an adult now (student from high school 7 yrs ago) How is teachers or people supposed to help effectly, when they don't know what the students are going though, as an example most of us with ADHD/ADD have had some tragedy happen such as a family member dying, perhaps being raped, or abused or drug/acohol problems at home? There is no support to help with these issues in the educational system. I dont know about others, but if you can really get that close in high school with the students or know what they have been going though, how are you supposed to help them? We have no one to talk to or trust.

pershingd
01-02-08, 07:06 PM
Man - its been a while since I posted my response - had to go back and read what I wrote.

In response to what JC asked - the sad truth is that teachers today cannot. With the pressure put on teachers to meet the outrageous demands of state and federal performance objectives, there is no justifiable time for anything else.

I'm no longer in public education because I got tired of being told that caring about my students is irrelevant. Being told that the sum total of my worth is the scores the students got on their assessments grew to be more than I could stand. When helping students cheat on the state exams began to look like a viable option to making my superiors happy and getting them off my back - I decided it was time to go.

I feel bad that I'm not there for those kids that need someone to believe in them. It was the hardest thing that I had to accept about leaving.

I'm still in education, but I now work inside the walls of a prison teaching a life skills class. Oddly enough - a lot of those guys need someone to believe in them too.

David

aloha1983
02-14-08, 05:00 AM
Let them know you like them as people, just not their behaviour and that it is their behaviour you are dealing with when you discipline them. Praise, praise and praise. Make it regular and genuine.

I find when I tutor every kid has a hobby. If you can figure out what it is and somehow link it to their work it's great. Eg. I had a boy who liked skating so I got him to read about the Lords of Dogtown, Tony Hawk etc. He wrote a short story in that genre and so on.