"If only she tried harder."
Have you ever entertained those thoughts about any of your students? Have you ever heard your colleagues use those statements to describe any of their students? Do you realize how difficult it can be for your struggling learners, ON A DAILY BASIS?
If you never struggled as a student, here is an opportunity to experience, even briefly, what school is like for too many of our students. It is vital we have empathy for what our struggling learners experience on a daily basis.
PBS.org has created a set of interactive activities which offer the chance to simulate reading disabilities, writing disabilities or attentional issues. Try it out here.
|Click on the challenge you would like to experience firsthand|
How does it feel? Can you imagine what it is like to face this difficulty throughout the school day?
Next time, you are tempted to think your student on an IEP is lazy, rethink your reaction. Talk with them. Provide the external supports to promote success and ensure you are incorporating universal design for learning (UDL) principles which will bypass or accommodate for their learning challenges. It's our responsibility as educators if we truly care about all our kids.