Unteachable – NO – Misunderstood

It is early here in Edmonton, roughly 1:20 am, I was trying to finish a post on alternative education and in the middle of it I was trying to put in a visual that would explain why some teachers, mainly special education teachers create alternative curriculum.

As is fiddled through many many pictures on the internet I came up with an idea how about a video, needless to say it resulted in this post. Many of us Special Education teachers are referred to as a special or unique breed of teachers. The ones that have to have just a little more patience, a little more caring, a little more trust and well a little more of everything. O.k. we are unique, but when I watched this video it explained better then I could why myself and many other teachers around the world do what we do.

Many of you may have seen the movie or read the book, but this anecdotal summary was great. It is about 10 min long but worth the time.

Many students in special education and in regular education are not unteachable – they are just understood. We shouldn’t try to make a square peg in a round hole, we should create a new hole. Enjoy


4 thoughts on “Unteachable – NO – Misunderstood

  1. Pingback: Why choose an alternative curriculum? « Learning to Lead, Inspiring to Change

  2. What a powerful message! I have not seen this movie. It has been on my list forever, but I can never find the time to watch movies! Your post makes me want to buy it and show it to every Michigan law maker! Yesterday I was in an 8 hour meeting that was all about how scores can tell you if a teacher is excellent or if they should leave the profession! Pay should be tied to these scores was the message of the day. This teacher, under their system, would be considered “unsatisfactory” according to the new teacher evaluation!
    I tried to point out that relationships are far more important, but I was told by one admin that you have to make the scores your priority. I don’t do the test prep many do for 2 reasons: first it starts the first day of school and. I spend at least the first 2 weeks making my class get to know each other because we are a community of learners in our room. Secondly, the drill and kill methods do not teach them, and when they get that test they freak out so all those little tricks teachers spent days working on are forgotten! If you really taught the concept during that test prep, and empowered the child to see they can do anything, than they will have strategies and confidence to figure it out! Thank you for writing this post! I feel validated in my approach to teaching, which after 8 hours of being told I was wrong, I am confident that I have it right… Law makers are the ones that got it all wrong!

    • Kelly, believe me you do not have it wrong. I believe in your so called standardized tests, but that they have a specific purpose and that it is not to sort or categorize students nor teachers. Check out “test or not to test” it explains in more detail. In regards to relationships, you are also correct. Myself and my administration, strongly believe in relationships, and not just those with parents and colleagues, but more importantly those among teachers and students. I teach severe special needs students, students that have been removed from their homes due to reasons that would make the average person sick to their stomach. If is did not teach students with an emphasis on relationships, trust, safety, caring, honesty and morals, just to name a few. I would only be perpetuating the cycle. My students don’t really care about school they see it as a place of escape. Here is a post that would explain to your admin why there are different methods of teaching and that methodology is dependent on the students you teach. Societies hidden children

      Finally, although I do not face the same scrutiny as you and my other colleagues to the south. I have followed what has been becoming a trend in the United States, in relation to teacher evaluations and student testing. I disagree with everything, but I am Canadian who wants my opinion on that. I will say this however. I can’t rave that I have had amazing results and successes, but I can say that I have made differences in many of my students lives that have in some resulted in them returning to a family members home or in being adopted. But, if I was evaluated on how my students achieved on a test, I would have only taught for one year, not twelve. Some of the students I have taught couldn’t read at the age of 11, how would they write a test. I disagree with how teachers in the States are being evaluated, but that would be another blog post. I would suggest you ask your law makers and admin this.
      If the current method of evaluation for teachers is acceptable then why not evaluate all professions in that way. If your students don’t achieve what they should it is also the responsibility of the politician’s who make the curriculum. If your economy is not as good as other states, then that is a reflection of your politicians. If your crime rates are higher than those in other parts of the country then your police department should be revamped. Make the ability to keep your job and career dependent on a factor that is not in your control. Sorry I am ranting because I feel for you. You are right and those others (law makers) are wrong.
      Thanks for you comment, I hope things work out, if not come on up to the Great White North.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Unteachable – NO – Misunderstood « Learning to Lead, Inspiring to Change -- Topsy.com

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