The student “Toolbox”
Every student begins their education with a toolbox. Within this toolbox they will begin to develop quite a large set of tools to use. When students are not given the correct tools, they are not learning in the correct manner to make sense of the material. When students are given the tool, but are not shown the proper use of that tool, they are not learning in the correct manner to be successful. I compare this to a mechanic who is trying to take a screw out using a hammer. He/she will get the screw out, but will not be able to use the screw again. With my method they can use the screw and the hammer again.
An example of this is the student who struggles to make sense of the printed word. When students are missing key points in their reading ability, it is not the students, parents, and or teachers fault. The key here is to find the tool the student is missing/ and or not using properly. When teachers, and or parents find that missing tool, the student excels. One example of this is when my daughter was three she was struggling with reading words. I could not figure out what was happening. She loved books, and continuously tried to make sense of the little books I gave her. When I decided to take her to the eye doctor because I noticed her squinting a lot and having headaches. She was found to have a lazy eye, and the doctor’s put patches, large lenses and tried everything they could to repair the eye. Nothing worked, but with the glasses she was able to learn about the printed material found all around her. She grew into a strong reader who can read faster and understand far more than her counter-parts in the same grade and same age. Once I found out about the eye, I knew I could find a way to work around the issue of the eye. We worked until she felt confident enough to venture out on her own with little or no help from me on words and context clues.
My son is another prime example of students not gaining the help they need in order to be successful. My son was born not breathing in an Army hospital twenty years ago. He suffers from blackouts and has periods of time he cannot remember. We figured this out after a grand mall seizure at the age of four. He has since graduated from my school with a stipulation. He has to continue learning the rest of his days. He struggles making sense of the world around him and continues to struggle with simple tasks. He also struggles with tasks he completes regularly. This I am told is all part of him being without oxygen for a long period of time at his birth. The doctors warned me he would never walk or talk. I got him to perform both. Educating him is a challenge in itself. He does not follow multiple instructions and depends solely on the adults in his life to give him direction. I am working with him currently to gain independence for the inevitable day the adults in his life are no longer available.
I work with parents and students to find the correct manner in which your student understands the material and can gain the knowledge and or skill needed in order to be successful. I am tenacious and do not give up easily. I live by the motto “if you continue doing what you’ve always done, you’re always gonna get what you always got”, (author unknown). If one approach does not work, I use another approach. I continue to work until I see the results parents and students were looking for. The success of students is not just the student. I also believe if a student receives an “F” grade, it is not the student who receives that grade, but me the teacher. I am responsible for the material, information, and or skill getting to your student. If they do not understand, it is solely my fault they do not understand.