“Every Child is Special.”
This is a title and a phrase that has created a certain place in my heart as a human and as a teacher. A teacher should always be reminded that every child is unique in their own ways. That we cannot just assume that their performance will be singular and their output will be the same quality and quantity in one setting. There are factors that could affect child’s growth and performance. As a teacher, we must be willing to go deeper in each and every child as they partake in the venture of learning.
Sometimes, due to overload of work, records and activities as a teacher, we might overlook the needs and support of every child in a class. The amount of work might be overwhelming but we need to take precaution as we sail on teaching arena. Every learner needs special help. They are not wearing the same crown of strength and weaknesses. The movie “Every Child is Special” just reminded us that every child has natural intelligence which is innate on them but sometimes it is just being block by some learning issues and difficulties. Dyslexia and other learning problems that contribute to poor learning performance are just among the list.
Our problem as a teacher sometimes is we just want to look at the “tip of the iceberg”. We tend to just look at the end process of the raw scores and marks, not taking into consideration the learning process itself. Our ability to dig deeper, picturing out the whole learning process and doing a SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats) in every teaching-learning process will make a big difference.
As a teacher, our words are powerful. It might serve as a fertilizer for a kid to grow and can also be a poison for a kid to die (failures in life). We cannot just brand children as a poor learners and give them the world where they could feel that they are isolated, not enough, failure and not capable in progressing in terms of academics. As the movie suggests about Dyslexia, we cannot put the whole blame on them because they are not performing well in class. Dyslexia is a language difficulty that affects the ability of a child to read accurately and fluently. They may also have trouble with reading comprehension, spelling and writing.
Among with the other diverse difficulty in learning, dyslexia is one of the prominent cases that learner has been diagnosed. If a child cannot recognize letters or words, or if he cannot recognize the connection of letters and sounds, how can he read? How can he attain a maximum level of learning performance that the school requires? Sometimes, we use to label a child having this learning issue as poor performer, lazy, dumb, careless, immature, “not trying hard enough,” or with “behavior problem.” Without knowing the deeper concept of learning and assessing their level in language, we come to a conclusion which appears that they are just worst and hard to deal-with learners. By simply looking at a box but failing to know what it is really inside. Grades are decorations of what learners have in mind or how they could cope with the lessons. However, teacher should assess the learners thoroughly in many manners for us to identify the missing link why they are not performing the same as others.
In the movie, even the parents of the child have become hopeless of what he could do in life. They stopped from dreaming of a greater future for him because of that poor performance from a regular school. They even thought that the child is just being lazy and stubborn to do his school work. This has been so familiar with the parents who raise their kids nowadays; they are up to flying colors, achievements and competitiveness of a child rather than its own individuality and unique quality. Parents and teachers as well as the students are the key players of learning. Thus, commitment and compassion to a child should manifest from a teacher and so as the parents they should be there to support the child and show them love all throughout.
Once parents has already open their mind that their child needs an additional and special support in learning, the teacher could really to his job to reconcile the missing links in learning. As dyslexia as the prime reason of the language difficulty, the teacher has done many ways to improve the learning process of the child and even progresses his performance in all subject areas. Based on studies, person with dyslexia are talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales, business, designing, building, or engineering. Thus, there has been well-known artist, scientist, writers and people who contributed a lot in our society today. This people include Albert Einstein, Tom Cruise, Pablo Picasso and many more that excel in various field. This is just a reminder that we should never lose our hope on them.
In the scenario, the teacher has taught the dyslexic kid in various strategies. This includes the recognition of letters and signs through sensory; making letters out of clay, writing on air using fingers, writing on sand. He also used the technique “stair solving problems” to improve the math, organization and motor skills of the child. Through continues practice and drill in reading as well as writing the child has been able to identify the words and write neatly and comprehensively. The story also suggest that instead of a paper and pencil test, we could assess the learning of a child through oral forms since dyslexic kids tend to be more creative and imaginative. The creative side in learning was always present all throughout. The teacher never fails to address the “unique quality” of the child. Since the child has the most innate talent in painting, his winning on the painting contest leads him to overcome his social fears.
This story is just a picture of a child who is in the edge of falling to a cliff. At his darkest moment, he has been judge by the whole school, neglected and even his family has nearly given up on him. He only needs a hand of an adult who will understand him and his condition. Truly, we as a teacher have the power to rebuild dreams of our students. No matter how hard learning seems to be, if we equipped ourselves with understanding, love and strategies to cater child’s needs…they will achieve their goals in life. We are a co-creator of their dreams in life. Let’s never ever lose our hope to any child. They have their important roles for the future. Perhaps right now, we are dealing with the future presidents, actors, astronauts, senators, doctors, scientist and writers of tomorrow’s generation. We’ll never know. So let teaching not just be our profession but also our passion.
All the love for all the teachers out there! ❤️