Believe in My Kid...Or Else

I have known for a while that some of Sam's teachers did not believe that he is fully capable. And it's been confirmed by more than one source that at least one thought he should be in a 'special school.'


Ignoring the fact that the LAW is on our side regarding the least restrictive environment.

It makes me wonder.

How can you teach a kid who you don't believe in? I know it's not just my kid that is affected. There was a really interesting experiment done where teachers were told that a class had done poorly on testing when they really hadn't. The teacher taught down to (think talked down to) their class and their scores dropped A LOT by the next year. And for an underperforming class, the teacher was told they had scored well. The next year all the kids were scoring much higher.

Your kids become the people you believe them to be. As a parent and as a teacher. If you label them, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The bad one, the smart one, the clown. No one gets further by holding them to a low standard.

But my problem becomes: how do I convince people to be open-minded about my kid?

I'm pretty sure that Temple Grandin did not seem like she would become the brilliant, inspiring person she is when she was 10 or 12 years old. But if people had not believed in her, if her mother had not pushed open doors for her, she would be another sad case in a group home.

My kid has the potential. Your job as a teacher is to provide part of the road he walks on. He may not show it every time. Sometimes he pulls information out that he learned long ago and uses it. Just because you do not see it immediately does not mean it did not get stored in that brain. He is a brilliant recorder, but the playback right now is faulty. Give the production team time to get up and running.

If you wanted immediate gratification, you shouldn't have gone into teaching.


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