Here is an excerpt of a large writing project of I have been working on:.
Top 10 things NOT TO SAY to a student with a learning disability. I think this is important to address because many teachers do not realize that they can be unintentionally patronizing or demeaning to students with learning disabilities. These are the most common phrases that I heard through out my academic career and that I still continue to hear kids gripe about.
I can’t speak for other students, but I included my internal response to these phrases that I heard the majority of my life.
10. “You're not even trying”.- Maybe for me, trying my best is simply getting through the classroom door in the morning.
9. “If only you just applied yourself more”…Maybe I don’t know what that looks like. Who will teach me what work ethic and grit looks like?
8. “You have got to do your homework!” Maybe I don’t understand why, or I am ashamed because nearly every attempt at my homework is wrong.
7. “You're making all these careless mistakes”.- Maybe those are the most educated mistakes I have ever made.
6. “What do YOU think?”- Maybe I wouldn’t have asked if I knew. Maybe I have learned to not trust my thinking, (see #7 & #8)
5. “Why don't you copy/sit next to ( insert a ‘bright’ student’s name )?” Maybe I already feel like I am not good enough, and this just confirmed it.
4. “You are going to have to know how to do this in the real world”.- Maybe, the field in which I will excel has NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS CLASS. Do you know what I am passionate about?
3. “Why don’t you control yourself better and sit still”? - Maybe I have been sitting for the better part of four hours and am crawling out of my skin. Maybe I am working so hard to sit still that I have no brain power left to listen and analyze what you are saying.
2. “If I do that for you, to be fair I have to do it for all”. - Maybe what’s “fair” is giving me what I need to succeed and not expecting me to be like my peers
And the number #1 most frustrating phrase...
1. “You have so much potential.”
PLEASE! I don’t know how to access it. Can someone show me?
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