What do you wish your teachers had known?

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Dear_one
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26 Feb 2018, 12:20 pm

whatamievendoing wrote:
I never cared to go into pointlessly deep detail about my Asperger's to teachers. I just make a note of letting them know about it - that has often been adequate. If they have any questions about it, though, I'll happily answer them. But the discussions regarding it were always short and sweet.

Nothing specific comes to mind, really.


Here in Canada, even my new counsellor knew so little about AS that I found our sessions abusive, and quit.



ToughDiamond
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26 Feb 2018, 1:11 pm

That they weren't fit to teach. There were exceptions but a lot of them were hopeless. Little or no help for anybody having trouble following the teaching, except punishment. Here's a conversation I had with the music teacher, more or less verbatim:

Me: I've not been able to follow the work very well, so I was wondering if I could have a recap of the basics.
Him: You mean you want the rudiments?
Me: Yes, that's it.
Him [smiling]: How rude.
He ended the conversation there. I asked for help and was given a weak pun.

So I wish they'd known this: if you're going to teach, it's not enough to roll out a lecture aimed at the high-fliers. You get power, status and money as a teacher. To earn it, you need to teach inclusively, to take on responsibility for helping the ones who don't get it first time. But maybe they knew that already and were just deliberately cheating, and didn't care if they were hated.

The better ones I had few problems with, and can't think of much I wish they'd known. I guess I wish they'd all known how confusing I found many of the lessons, and how much better I do when information is presented to me in more appropriate ways. But the good ones taught clearly.



Dear_one
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26 Feb 2018, 1:24 pm

Classes were always over 30 when I went, so only the noisy kids got any extra attention. The administration preferred to hire "b" class teachers, for economy, but shortage forced them to hire a guy who had just graduated near the top of his class for science. He went by the book, dividing his time into an intro, body, and recap. I could manage to pay attention for the first and last five minutes, and daydream during the plodding explanations in the middle. That was the only place I got good marks. The next year, I flunked out with a general knowledge score over college grad level. A decade later, I went to the library, and was then invited to lecture to graduating engineers.

The world is headed for a crisis by almost every index known. Kids need to learn how to think, not how to obey their TV sets and maintain addictions.



ToughDiamond
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26 Feb 2018, 2:20 pm

^
Usually my problem was that everything went too fast for me to keep up, but we had one known as "the slug" who well lived up to his nickname. First several weeks were nothing but French pronunciation, with no testing(!), just group recital. There wasn't even an oral part to the final exam. And he didn't tell us anything about vocabulary or syntax till he was done. The word was that we were lagging way behind in the syllabus. He was also bossy and unkind when he thought he had a placid class. Once it came to light that he couldn't stand up to more than one person rebelling at a time, his classes went completely out of his control. I remember he told us we sounded like a load of babies, on account of the noise and antics, and that was met with a chorus of "booh! hooh!"

I've since wondered whether he might have been autistic, with the pedantic style and all. I can't imagine any teacher having the freedom to make such a mess of it these days, what with national curriculum and key stage this and that controlling everything they do, but I noticed when I worked at a university that there seemed to be an assumption that if you knew your subject well, you could teach it well.



Esmerelda Weatherwax
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26 Feb 2018, 3:15 pm

That bullying of "different" kids in school needs to be called out on the spot, stopped immediately, and given no leeway.

That "boys will be boys" or "kids will be kids" translates as "adults will be cowards" and all the kids know it.

That if a child's behavior is inimical, and causing either physical or emotional harm to others, it's not "only a phase".

That the children you failed to protect will never forget it.


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Dear_one
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26 Feb 2018, 3:25 pm

Esmerelda Weatherwax wrote:
That bullying of "different" kids in school needs to be called out on the spot, stopped immediately, and given no leeway.

That "boys will be boys" or "kids will be kids" translates as "adults will be cowards" and all the kids know it.

That if a child's behavior is inimical, and causing either physical or emotional harm to others, it's not "only a phase".

That the children you failed to protect will never forget it.


I don't know how an American kid can make sense of the anti-bullying lessons in school. First, most of it has always taken place without witnesses. Now, kids can be suspended for tearing a sheet of paper into an "L" - a gun shape, while they see pictures of refugees their own age on the news, and people who protest the wars are gassed.



Esmerelda Weatherwax
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26 Feb 2018, 3:48 pm

^ :scratch: I'm missing your point, I think. Does bullying not exist if it's not observed? :scratch: I'd say the only observer needed is the target.

Displacement activity (e.g., suspending one girl for taking Midol, while other girls corner and beat their classmates without consequence) isn't a substitute for effective intervention. That's what happened with the kid who bit his poptart into a gun shape. I believe the record has been expunged and there was a settlement in that case, but it never should have happened in the first place. It usually happens because adults want to look virtuous and engaged without actually doing anything to address the real problems, which are messy and risky to confront, since they might upset wealthy parents.

Part of the problem is that the society we have is the society we get (and the people we have are the people we get) when we pretend that this stuff either doesn't exist or doesn't matter, or both. Surprise - it also doesn't disappear.

Anyway, I'm not sure what you're saying, so I've tried to respond to what I thought you were saying. Hopefully we both agree that treating others meanly is bad, and enabling it is at least as bad.


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26 Feb 2018, 4:52 pm

I wish my teachers knew how they're wrecking my home life by telling my parents my grades. Because my parents valued my grades and my teachers' opinions of me far above my mental well-being. The few things that gave me pleasure were taken away even for less-than-perfect homework. My elementary teacher was the worst; she called my parents almost every day. I don't know if she did on her own volition or if they asked her to. I nicknamed her Ms. Homewrecker, because she wrecked my home life. (I overheard the word "homewrecker" on TV, on a daytime talk show, and applied it in my own way.)

Then again, in older grades, teachers were equally bad. They either mailed notes home, or handed it to me and told me to have them sign it. Many times, I was having fantasies of running away from home, due to the sheer fear of punishments I was going to get. It didn't get better until high school. Mine had a policy that the only way to get information on your kids grades outside of reports cards, was to request a formal parent/teacher conference. And by then, my parents either started trusting me or didn't want go through the hassle.



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26 Feb 2018, 4:56 pm

I wish that the "goodies" could have known the enduring influence their their kind interest and concern for me had on the rest of my life. I am sure they are all dead now, but they made a huge difference and restored my child's very battered faith in adults.

I have sometimes thought about contacting their adult children just to express my very belated gratitude.



Dear_one
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26 Feb 2018, 5:04 pm

Re: Bullying. I'm against it. I just think the authorities are, overall, total hypocrites. The kids learn to keep their aggression bottled up for later use under approved circumstances, or other opportunity.



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26 Feb 2018, 9:37 pm

IstominFan wrote:
To my kindergarten teacher:

Just because English was my second language didn't mean I was stupid. I was not, as you said, hyperactive because I was a high energy type.

To the college instructors and school psychologists:

You told me something was wrong with me, but never told me what it was. You made me feel like nothing. Anybody reading my profile of strengths and weaknesses couldn't fail to see Asperger syndrome today. A high verbal intelligence coupled with abysmal spatial performance is a big red flag. It isn't really your fault. AS wasn't a formal diagnosis until 1994. I didn't even know exactly what was wrong with me until I was 32.

I have the same IQ profile and I'm 17, so AS/ASD has been a diagnosis my whole life but I was just diagnosed on the 14th of February this year. I've always been told that this profile is the opposite of an ASD profile and that it signifies NVLD but I have sensory issues, special interests and reliance on routine so I knew it had to be AS. I wish my elementary school teachers would have know about ASD beyond the classic type.



ZombieBrideXD
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27 Feb 2018, 12:21 am

i wish my teachers knew this

"when i look out the window, i am listening, if i am looking at the board im too distracted by everything else to understand what your saying."

"slow down, it takes me a little while to absorb information"


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Dear_one
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27 Feb 2018, 8:32 am

Mostly, I wish I'd had a teacher with a higher IQ than mine, and a better sense of which facts are basic to a problem. Most were just floundering around. The few times I have taught, people have remarked on how simple and clear I make things. My class used to have one unsupervised period a week, because we never told admin that the teacher didn't have the same schedule as us. One day, the kid behind me asked for help on a physics point, and the one across the aisle listened. Then another, so I took the blackboard, and did a review for about 1/3 of the class, and got many amazed looks of realization.



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27 Feb 2018, 9:59 am

There were so many stupid teaching methods already starting when I was in elementary school. Work became play, while play became a chore. Recess turned into a series of organized sports activities.



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01 Mar 2018, 12:40 am

I wish that my Grade 10 English teacher had enough sense to not to teach students not to hate people of different nationalities. I also wish that she taught in a more inclusive way from the beginning of the year instead of realizing well into the third semester that she was doing the wrong thing by telling me to sit and work alone as the class broke up into groups. I had her for an PE teacher for the first two months of my Grade 10 year and she told me to go off on my own and throw the ball at wall and catch it over and over again. I wanted to be a part of the class during the 10 minutes of grouping up and practicing. That bioch really had it in for me. When she was teaching us about the Holocaust, we were asked to do a speech or assignment on propaganda, I was booed out of the class instead of applauded just as I finished my speech. Those rats had a great teacher. They had her. I should have done my speech on what people thought of Germans in 1991. It would have been funny to see my regular classmates crying instead of booing me out of the room.


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01 Mar 2018, 10:29 am

When I was in 8th grade my sh***y teachers called my mother in for a sit down and told her that they weren't going to punish me any more because they were afraid I might follow them home and hurt them. My mother knew I wasn't going to follow anyone home so she told me about the meeting and I went on and did whatever I wanted for the rest of the year. Had I been in a charter school I probably would have been treated like I was gifted. Instead I had my desk put in the hallway until I was in high school. Teachers suck as far as I'm concerned.


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