What is Education?
Education is about acquiring knowledge and skills. Knowledge and skills that are to be used throughout life. What if your child has difficulty with gaining these skills and learning new information the way that schools provide it? What if your child is very bright but learns in a different way than what the schools teach? Does this mean that your child can’t learn? NO, this means that the school must adjust the way that they teach to accommodate your child.
How does that work?
Schools have an expectation that all children learn in the same way. Even though the teachers know that all children don’t learn in the same way, they use methods that instruct in a way that only allows certain children to learn. They use teaching methods that require students to sit still for long periods of time, control their impulses, listen and process auditory information, write lengthy assignments, learn by rote, and do lots of homework to embed the material into the minds of their children. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t work for all children and particularly children with disabilities. This causes children with disabilities to feel bad about themselves because they struggle to learn in this way.
What needs to happen.
- We need to change the mindset.
- Get away from the traditional methods and eliminate the feelings of failure in students.
- Look at things from the child’s perspective and figure out what will work for the student. Using the IEP.
- Work with opportunities for success for the student and build on that.
- Use effective communication strategies with all of the teachers and school personnel to ensure that the student is working towards learning in the way that is designed for the student and not necessarily the classroom.
This will enable the student to acquire knowledge and learn skills that will be utilized through out their lives. Which is ultimately what public education is supposed to provide.
Once your child is out of school, there is no chance to go back and redo it to make it count. Make it count when your child is there. Continue to raise the bar and have high expectations for your child and your school. Always consider what independent skills your child will need and work towards those skills. Incorporate them at home as well.
Adulthood comes all too quickly and the skills learned throughout childhood will set the foundation for success.
MAKE IT COUNT!