Friday, 3 February 2017

Allowing Children to Succeed

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This is not a craft post, it is however a post about using creativity to help children succeed. I think many teachers and administrators get bogged down by their workload, the increasing complexity of the curriculum, the stringent bureaucracy surrounding interaction with students and the overall pressure to reach the academic standards of the average child.

Unfortunately none of these pressures allow teachers to use their creativity to reach children that can not be formed into the cookie cutter mainstream student. The children who learn in very specific ways whether it is auditory, visually, hands on or something totally different.

There is a quote attributed to Micheal J Fox that says "If children can't learn the way we teach, we should teach the way they learn."

My child has Autism. I have to pick him up nearly every day because he has escalated into a flurry of aggression that the school is not trained to handle. (I should note he is in a connections program for Autistic children.)

When we look at the bulk of the incidents when he has had a meltdown it was instigated by staff trying to make him do things in the exact same format as everyone else. I get it. There is a curriculum to be followed. However, if a child is being sent home everyday because he won't do assignments their way, surely it would be more effective to allow him to complete tasks his way. There are only 6 children in the class and 3-4 staff. Surely someone can figure out how to let the children succeed by using their strengths to learn. My little man has a memory like no one else I know. When he was 4 he had already learned the names and catchphrase of each of the hundreds of Skylanders.  He knows the words to more songs than I do and he can figure out technology faster than I can keep up and I went to college for my Microsoft certification.

I get so frustrated that none of those strengths are being leveraged to help him learn.

By allowing children to use their own God given talents and tools designed to support their sensory needs all children have the ability to succeed in their own way.

We as the educators of these children (yes I consider parents as educators as well) should put away our measuring tape and allow these incredible children to show us what they are capable of, and do all that we can to help them succeed in their own way.

It is the diversity of abilities that allow people to do incredible things.

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