Every day you approach the computer
“What are we doing again?” I show you where to see the assignment. I review the expectations, the objectives, the criteria.
“Oh! Okay! I get it!” you say, and set to work.
The next day, we do it again.
Today you stare at me with blank, hollow eyes.
“I don’t get it,” you say.
Everyone else is busily working. You’ve been absent. When you come, you have to study for a test in another subject. Or see the counselor. Or help your friend. In fourteen hours of research time, you’ve been here for eight. Do you have anything to show for the time? Others have the list of the websites they consulted, pages of notes, excitement over how they’ll turn research into a presentation next week.
You have confusion.
The same confusion from the first day. Repeated again. Some days we can help you. Some days you are confident and productive.
But nothing stays in your memory more than an hour.
Other days you are sullen and oppositional, because you’re sure you’ve never seen this before, and you’re angry about it.
“This is stupid.”
What more can I do? I ask. They tell me your parents refuse to have you tested. They don’t want you to have a label, so we don’t know if this is a cognitive impairment, learning disability, or the results of drug use or a sports injury. A label comes with funding to give you the additional support you plainly need. Keep repeating expectations. Keep explaining the criteria. I agree. This is stupid.
The course is almost over and you return each day to week one, living a personal Groundhog Day loop,
and no one knows how to pull you out.
Ah yes, the plight of the teacher…attempting to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of a wildly varied population. In short, being expected to perform miracles constantly. I take off my hat and bow low to you, my friend.
Some days are more frustrating than others!
Indeed…and thankfully the good days are so good that they carry us through the frustrating days. ❤
There is no good label for such parents, other than “misguided”, “ignorant”. My parents searched for several years to determine a label for me. By the time we found “autistic”, I was already an adult. Years had been wasted, the way weeks and months have been wasted, in the case of your student.
It’s very difficult to learn when you don’t have a functional memory.
The parents need to be leaders. Right now, they’re ostriches.
It’s very frustrating, that’s for sure.
Parents who are afraid of The System sometimes use denial as a coping mechanism, and then turn around and blame The System for not serving their child when it reaches the point that it’s obvious.