for my Blog this week I chose to talk about some quotes that really stuck out to me. there was so much in this reading that I wanted to talk about and my thoughts keep getting al jumbled up so I am just going to highlight a few of the main quotes.
1. It's not like they come here to be labeled, or to believe the label. We're all here-kids, teachers, parents, whoever-it's about all of us working together, playing together, being together, and that's what learning is. Don't tell me any of these kids are being set up to fail. (pg 75)
This quote stuck out to me because I agree with it completely, if all teachers and communities could have this mind set there would be so much less discrimination against students with special needs. it is not fair for those students to be labeled and be separated from their peers simply because they have down syndrome. often times they are not even given to choice to choose what they learn and make their own schedule like other students their age can. It is important for children with down syndrome to not feel like they are different or separate from their peers, because they are not, we are all humans and we all deserve the same opportunities.
2. Shayne recognized a child's nonconformity as natural human diversity; a source of strength that could be supported by the school community in order that it add a unique and valuable dimension to that community. (pg 78)
This quote basically sums up why Shayne Robbins is such an amazing educator. the fact that she was able to look past a child's differences in learning and communicating and actually embrace his disability and use it to enhance her curriculum just simply amazes me. she did not look at him as mentally disabled, instead she looked at him as a normal child with his own special diversity, every child weather they are mentally challenged or not has their own way of learning and their own diversity and that's what she saw his nonconformity as. she played to his strengths and got all the other students involved as well to ensure that he remained a part of the classroom community. This makes me think of the toddler classroom at the daycare I work at. last summer we had a deaf little boy starting in the classroom and at first it was a challenge for the toddler teachers, and the rest of the staff members because we did not know how to communicate with him, let alone teach him. however, instead of separating him and changing our ways completely we modified, we all learned a lot of sign language and each child in the classroom was assigned a specific sign for their name, in no time the other toddlers in the classroom were learning many signs and they all knew each others signs we made it so that he could learn what all the other children were learning and the other children were also learning from him. even now, he does not go to the daycare anymore but we decided that sign language was actually helping the toddlers learn more so it is still part of the curriculum and they are constantly learning new signs.
3. I suppose you could argue that and it's hard to argue that you might be wrong. Lee is, in a sense, in a way he's branded. People see him. They see Down syndrome. They see mental challenge, retardation, whatever you want to call it. That's what they see, but they wouldn't be seeing him. Do you know what I mean? Because Lee is Lee, and anybody who knows Lee knows, and this includes all the kids, they know he's gifted-in how he solves problems, cares about others, reads, loves math. So I guess what I'm arguing is that if you did pick Lee out, you wouldn't be seeing Lee. It's not Lee you're picking out. It's your stereotype, your mind-set. It's you, and it has nothing to do with Lee (pg 84)
I know this quote is really long but I think it is all important and I couldn't pick one part out of it. This was said by Colleen Madison when she was asked why she doesn't think anybody would pick her student Lee (who has down syndrome) as the mentally challenged student in the class. I think what she said is so powerful and so true, it is almost like putting one white student in a classroom with all minorities and asking somebody to pick out "the rich kid" anybody would pick out the white student because according to American stereotype white people have more money, which is not always true. The same thing goes for picking out the mentally challenged students in a classroom just by looking at them. It is not right to label somebody before you get to know them and that is what she is saying, if you were to pick Lee out you wouldn't be seeing him you would be seeing the stereotype we all associate with down syndrome.
4. Shayne, who knew Isaac well, defined his actions as a complex, sophisticated, symbolic response to a difficult situation, one that transformed the context into a more meaningful and thoughtful experience (pg 85)
This was said after Shayne's student Isaac was asked to sort spoons and blocks into separate containers, instead of following directions he separated all the blocks from the spoons and then tasted each spoon before throwing it aside. He was not given credit by psychologist for what he did because he did not do exactly what they wanted, because he did not do it right, but they failed to realize that he did do something, maybe even something more complex than what they asked him to do. they asked him to take spoons and put them in a container, but instead he took the spoons and used them in the way he knew spoons were supposed to be used, by eating off of them. honestly I feel in a way Isaac outsmarted the psychologists. he used more of a thought process doing what he did and they were too blinded by their stereotypes and lack of knowledge of Isaacs personality to recognize this. This really stood out to me because it is living proof of just how important it is to actually know someone before labeling them.
*talking point- this reading really meant a lot to me because I am currently doing a practicum for my SPED 300 class in a severe and profound preschool classroom and I have been working one on one with a little girl with autism. working with her over the past few months has really changed me and actually has me thinking about minoring in special education. being one on one with her has really taught me so much, I no longer see her weakness's and only see her strengths, she never fails to amaze me and she is constantly learning new things and is always so proud of her self when she does. it is just so amazing to be able to see the growth and progress she has made just in the short time I have been with her.