Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Special Ed isn't just for children who need Special help any more.

For the longest growing up, I never understood the reason as to why some children excel in studies and other students don't. I assumed if you wanted good grades all you had to do was do the work in class and do your homework. The teacher practically tells you all the answers and how to get them anyways. So for anyone to not be doing well the reasoning for this, in my head, was very simple: they weren't paying attention. It bothered me that some children asked questions on what the instructor had just explained not even five minutes ago. So some us students were deprived of learning time, where we could have gained more information, while other students were struggling on the simplicity of what we had just attained. It bothered me so much and I was full of envy. Teachers felt that if I got it the first time I didn't need any help or praise so I adapted to just doing good to please myself. I began to notice students would disappear from class meetings altogether and only later through playground chat found out that little Deontae was held back and is repeating the same grade, or that bitchy little girl Monica got put back into a lower grade. But no one knew why or understood why Sebastian was in the same grade but in a different class. Sebastian was always a nice kid. He tried really hard on his work and after a while eventually he would get it. He didn't pick fights or pull my hair like Monica did. He didn't throw chairs at the teacher and throw tantrums like Deontae did. He was just, for lack of vocabulary at the time to describe it, slow. A slow learner. Slow to get the jokes. Slow to understand how to play the game. Everything had to be repeated to him and the whole class lost a lot of time. And as a result he was placed in the "SLOW" class, Special Education.

Now there's nothing wrong with special education just at the time we didn't understand it. And now that I'm an adult I do. But I'm afraid some parents still don't quite get it or understand what it is for. More and more parents and teachers are over crowding special education classes as their "go to" to avoid saying "I fucked up". Instead of helping their children with school work, instead of disciplining children for misbehaving in class, they are quickly to say "I think he needs to be tested for special education". See back when Sebastian was in school, Special Ed was frowned upon and his parents were heart broken that this was the best option for him to receive the best education. So instead of parents helping their children with class work and having regular conferences with the teacher to see how their child can make academic improvements they blame the child. They let the child think that there is something wrong with them. They have a learning disability and are incapable of learning like "normal" children. Honestly let's face it, if they just hold their child back or put them a grade back, it doesn't let them off the hook. They will only be prolonging their obligations to helping their child in school, they will still have to help and eventually someone will notice they are at fault which can never happen.

So what is the purpose of this whole rant, nothing at all. It's a blog I'm entitled to state my opinion. I'll just say this to make a child test into special ed is not entirely fair. Some children are just not good test takers. Some fold under pressure. Some think it's an easy way out. But I feel like it's depriving the children who really do need special education. Taking away from their one on one and smaller class sizes. It hinders them from making a smooth transition into mainstream education later and promotes that when something is difficult or you don't wanna do it there is an alternative route. Children should learn at an early age that only hard work and determination pays off. If I can help it I will try to avoid any of my children from thinking there is an easy way out. And I will try my best to ensure special education remains for children who actually need it.

No comments: