Friday 8 February 2019

Meeting student needs

So today's post is not EdTech related but, in my opinion, an important message.

A few months ago I wrote a blog called "Google Read and Write for the win!"  It was about the positive impact that Google Read and Write had on my son.  In short, when I showed him how to use the tool, our homework battles ended.

After observing his abilities with content at home and comparing that to the assessment scores he brought home I noticed something did not match.  We decided to do a private psyc. assessment.

It was immediately obvious that my son has ADHD.  It was also obvious that he is quite bright - and that I was right - the scores don't match his actual abilities.

We got everything in place to get him an IEP to ensure his learning needs are met to ensure he can truly show what he knows at school.

Yesterday, he came home and said he feared he was one of the "least smart" (not dumb - so that was a win) kids in his class...maybe he was "at the bottom of the list".  Now, there was no list, but it was how he felt.  It was heartbreaking as a mother to hear him so down on himself.

Last week we received the psyc report and we planned to take him in to see the psychologist (or brain doctor as my son calls her) this week to have her explain it all to him.  In light of his comments, I decided that maybe we needed to broach the subject before our appointment.

I explained that the tests showed that his intelligence and learning scores put him at, above or well above the average of his peers.  Attention was the area in which he struggled.  I explained that his brain worked differently, but that didn't make him "less smart".

The more I shared how we were going to advocate for changes at school to help him learn, the wider the smile grew on his face.  When I got to the end of my spiel, I asked what he thought about it all.  He threw his arms around me and started to cry.  When I asked what the emotion was about he simply said, "Thank you".

Being a teacher, I was able to see the signs that my son was struggling that might have been missed in our system.  I feel for the kids who do not have an adult in their life to have that realization.

When kids feel valued and understood, their confidence soars.  When kids realise that the way they learn is not wrong, it is just different, their self worth stays intact.  Helping kids realise that traditional schooling methods don't work for everyone can give them encouragement, and fosters confidence, and excitement.

I know this is not earth-shattering for most of us....but it can be for a young learner.  Do you have a student that could use this kind of understanding?  Why not have the chat with them?  They might just hug and thank you too.

1 comment:

  1. Google is really good at learning. students can also google services ✏️ to help them do their homework.