This made me think of my special education students. I wondered if this is how their parents felt when they first noticed their child having difficulties in school. Of course they tried a lot of different things to motivate their child but if the child has a disability, it won’t magically disappear no matter what they do. Do the parents feel guilty every time they notice their child struggling or when the report card comes? Do parents wonder what they have done wrong to cause this? Do these parents feel that their child will never have full value anymore because the child has a “flaw?” How much of the guilt trip is encouraged by teachers? I have heard many teachers blame parents for not doing enough or supporting schools enough. Maybe some of them do but that won’t change their child’s disability.
This also made me think of things that I could do to help be more positive with students and parents. Just like my car, thinking positive thoughts will never get rid of the “dents” but maybe I need to move on and let the negative thoughts go. This won’t happen overnight and I will probably need to work on it. I need to make sure that I take care of the car better from now on and not put it in situations where I might make matters worse. This works the same way with my students. I need to be sensitive to their needs and make sure that I do not make their lives worse by doing something unconsciously or inadvertently. By making positive phone calls home to parents, I would be focusing on the students’ strengths and not weaknesses. Talking to the individual student about their disability may help them understand why they are having difficulties. I have had many students tell me that no one has ever talked to them about their disability so they thought it was something to be ashamed of. Working with parents to find solutions to problems enable parents to feel more in control when working with their child at home. Teaching my class to accept each other and their individual differences will go a long way to a student’s success in life.
Maybe we can all learn to accept the little “dents” in life.
Photo credit: why I’ve been especially sad since 6:45 yesterday evening by thomwatson