What do you wish your teachers had known?

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MiddleCisTheColor4
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26 Feb 2018, 1:31 am

I am, besides of course having a superpower called autism, a junior-level college student majoring in Special Ed. and Early Childhood Ed. I and a peer are planning an event to better explain autism and other learning differences to our peer education majors.
Here is the question:
What is it you wish your elementary, middle, or high school teachers - both special ed. teachers and otherwise - had known?



Last edited by MiddleCisTheColor4 on 26 Feb 2018, 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kiprobalhato
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26 Feb 2018, 1:33 am

that i'm not worth the effort.


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MiddleCisTheColor4
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26 Feb 2018, 1:39 am

@Kiprobalhato Can you elaborate what you mean by that? What did they do that you feel wasn't worth their effort?



MiddleCisTheColor4
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26 Feb 2018, 1:49 am

I was hoping you could be specific what efforts they made that you think were unnecessary, but if you feel that they actually didn't help you very much or at all, I'm sorry to hear that. I'm assuming then, that there's things you still struggle with that they either couldn't help with or didn't?



Rey27
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26 Feb 2018, 4:08 am

These are just a couple of things I could think of off the top of my head.
Questions like ‘how did that make you feel’ or ‘why did you do that’ are so broad that a coherent answer probably isn’t going to happen.
Give someone the chance to look at your face before you start talking to them, especially if there is background noise. It is hard to read someone’s lips if they are at much more than a 30-45degree angle to you and completely impossible if they are standing behind you.
Exercises that require touching other people are never ok.
Hope any of those were useful :D



bobaspie2015
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26 Feb 2018, 5:17 am

MiddleCisTheColor4 wrote:
I am, besides of course having a superpower called autism, a junior-level college student majoring in Special Ed. and Early Childhood Ed. I and a peer are planning an event to better explain autism and other learning differences to our peer education majors.
Here is the question:
What is it you wish your elementary, middle, or high school teachers - both special ed. teachers and otherwise - had known?

Such a very positive approach to your Autistic features. Always hold onto what you now believe as there will be many times in your life where you will be put down for who you are.
I am a senior Autistic male who has a very healthy outlook on life and it was only a few years ago that I found out I was HFA.
I wish my teachers had of picked up on my Autism way back when I was in school. But I am not able to turn the clock back so I shall not even think of it.
I love being the way I am (with it's up's and down's) but never would I desire to be otherwise.



bunnyb
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26 Feb 2018, 5:20 am

I was a precocious child. I fascinated some teachers. They let me race ahead of my peers and when I finished high school, I was 12 and too young to go to Uni. They didn’t know what to do with me. I started getting into trouble so I was locked up in a psych hospital at 13 and living on the streets at 15. Their experiment destroyed my life.

I hated being called gifted. It’s not a gift, it’s a curse. I was viewed as a freakish performing animal. Like the fool at court, I was there to amuse my ‘rulers /teachers’. I never felt clever. I felt like a fraud. Always waiting for the ability to fail me and everyone to realise that I wasn’t clever after all. I remember crying myself to sleep because I was so scared of failing and because I never had to try, I never felt like I earned my results. I would watch the other kids working so hard and felt bad because I didn’t have to.

So I would want teachers to know that being singled out for whatever reason, is damaging for a child. My son inherited my brain. I made it clear to teachers that they were not to tell him he was gifted or advance him ahead of his peers. Learning to fit in as best as an Autistic kid can was always more important than academic results. When he finished school, at the right age, he won a prestigious International scholarship and is now studying overseas, all expenses paid. His gift has not cursed him because I made sure teachers didn’t allow his mind to run wild so they could bask in his reflected achievements and then abandoned him.

I probably sound bitter but that’s because I am.


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26 Feb 2018, 5:25 am

I wish they'd known that the various issues they mentioned- poor coordination, poor at drawing, poor at writing, messy and disorganised were pointers that I was a child and teenager in need of extra support.


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GiantHockeyFan
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26 Feb 2018, 7:19 am

Just because I look like I am not paying attention doesn't mean I am not listening! You would think after getting it right 100 times in a row they would have stopped trying to 'catch' me not paying attention.

Just because I got good grades doesn't mean I didn't legitimately struggle with certain things like handwriting, speaking, abstract math, physics etc. I honestly felt like I was too 'normal' to get any help because I clearly was 'lazy.'

Yes, tall kids ARE bullied and no, the short guy(s) was/were not the victim.

Not me specifically and this applies to life in general too but the class clown likely suffers from depression and is not just an "attention seeker".



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26 Feb 2018, 7:21 am

I wish teachers knew that language isn't really reliable to everyone.
Especially how it is written on the books -- back then it was just a bunch of symbols to me and words themselves are 'fixed'. Almost all the time then, even the vague, long, and unnecessary phrases do 'mattered' when it's more or less a distraction and a waste of effort to me.
Words alone don't let me learn easily. And I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Since no one knew that back then, I learnt too soon on how I constantly 'translate' them, and how to be more abstract than rely on rote learning. Some people realized that I had done this somewhat.
If I hadn't figured that, I would've been 'memorizing' blindly. And if I couldn't do that as well, I'd be held back or worse...


Also, I really wish going academic honor rolls don't end up any student with pilling expectations of leadership, extracurricular, and 'maturity' after said achievement -- I kept seeing that to most achievers I've witnessed, and why I never envied them. :x Not everyone feels rewarded for that, nor appreciate 'pride from another'.
It's one of the reasons why I'd rather be an 'underachiever' -- to be 'unnoticeable'. But I wasn't unnoticeable enough to be pestered and have said expectations that I knew to myself that I couldn't.

If I were inclined to fear instead of anger, I would've been that unhappy and pressured 'achiever'.


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Embla
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26 Feb 2018, 7:48 am

I wish I would've been allowed to wear my hat indoors. Teachers got very annoyed with me because I kept coming into class with it, and even more annoyed that I kept on retreating to under the tables or hiding in the lockers. I was also the student who was told that I was "very smart, and if you only did what you're supposed to, you could get really good grades". It wasn't at all about being rebellious, as my teachers took it. They didn't see my hiding in lockers as a need to escape, just as hiding from responsibility. It was all about not being able to concentrate with all the light and noise. If I had been allowed to wear a hat and headphones in class, I would probably have done very well in school.

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Questions like ‘how did that make you feel’ or ‘why did you do that’ are so broad that a coherent answer probably isn’t going to happen.

Yeah, those were very hard to answer. Better to ask about facts than feelings. Instead of "why did you do that?", it would be easier to answer "what happened just before you did that?".

Also, I failed miserably on tests because of questions like this. Anything that was only about stating the facts, hose questions were easy. But I never understood why I had to explain my pattern of thought on a test answer. I knew that the teacher knew the answer to the question, so why should I try and explain how I reached an answer that they had already given me in class. "How did you reach this conclusion?" "eeeh, you told me to?"... Oh man, I'm confusing myself just trying to pinpoint the problem here.... I think it might just be about having trouble to grasp and explain an abstract concept. Like thoughts.
Jeez, I'm not making sense to myself. I'll just stop now.



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26 Feb 2018, 8:39 am

I had a math teacher/counsellor who said he'd talk cars with me if I got my math scores up. The fool should have set questions relating to automotive performance.
I'm not sure I'd send a child to school anywhere but Finland, these days. The bs that most teachers have to put up with and pass on filters out all the good ones.



whatamievendoing
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26 Feb 2018, 9:36 am

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.


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26 Feb 2018, 10:10 am

My only wish as a student in non-Tertiary education was to have a teacher listen to me, and talk to me a little bit.



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26 Feb 2018, 10:19 am

That I needed more instructions and I couldn't just to be told to just write a story or just write anything. I always hated these types of assignments because they were too abstract and I didn't know what to do and I hated group projects because I didn't know what to do in them either so I found it all boring.

When I was struggling in fractions, I wish my teacher had understood I wasn't ready for them because I wasn't grasping it and I couldn't take in the information and learn how to do it because it was too complicated due to too many steps and it kept changing for me.

Following rules, how was I expected to understand them if kids didn't follow them? They couldn't see how confusing that was for me?


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26 Feb 2018, 10:24 am

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.