As a Special Educational teacher I have seen first hand how many parents are devastated to know that they child is a candidate for this program. Special education basically makes education tailored made for the special child. I had the pleasure of working with students who were labeled as being Emotional Disturbed. My students were known for having angry issues which erupted into verbal and physical aggression. These students have so many referrals that they had been kicked out of their districts.
I had to come into this classroom with some high expectations and along with not being fearful. Please be clear that in the beginning these kids were cursing and yes even tried to attack but I had to use Mrs. Murray's magic. It's an ancient Chinese secret (smile). I have to be honest, I had a terrific male Para who worked closely with me and he and I devised a plan to ensure these kids would be successful.
Even though these middle schools kids were rebels and difficult in their perspective districts I still had to believe in them. I had to "capture their hearts". It was most difficult because these kids came from adverse environments. I had to daily speak works of belief in them. You have to realize, these kids only hear negative and when you hear negative you live and repeat negative. Then I had to make sure my class room was highly structured and engaging. These kids behavior covered up their true learning ability. So, I had to make instruction high impact, believe in them, and understand why they had that type of behavior in the first place. Remember, behavior is learned.
When Teachers see kids like these sometimes they continue to set them up for continuous failure because they only see a problem not a solution. Now, I am glad to say these kids passed my class, they love learning, and their behavior is under control. Do these kids still mess up? Absolutely, but not as often as they did and now they recognized their behavior. I believe with proper strategies, along with support, and sheer dedication all kids can learn.
Teachers, we have to strive with all our might to help our Special Need students and we have to be prepared to teach in a diverse framework. We have to look at all aspects of the student and make sure we have done all that we could to impact that student in a positive way.
So you say, those with Emotional Disturbance can't learn? I know first-hand that they can and I have known strategies and resources that work. Will it be easy? No!! Will it take time? Yes!!! Will you pull your hair out? Sometimes!! However the feeling you get after seeing a reformed student is Priceless!!!