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A positive moment...

(22 Posts)
eidsvold Wed 11-Feb-04 19:22:38

I am finding it really hard teaching full time and having dd in nursery - but at present it is a necessary evil... been feeling particularly down as I have not seen much of her this week - meetings, parents' evening etc...

But today I had two good lessons..... this is what happened.

I have to teach year 7 drama and english - to three classes of generally nice kids who can be cheeky and naughty but able to be reined in if needed. We are to do a unit exploring disabilities next half term...

Boy how do I address this: I took the photo I have of dd from my filing cabinet - they see it all the time - I asked them to describe what they saw in a sentence.... got usual things - little girl, purple shirt, hair etc.....

and then I told them the story of her heart condition - open heart surgeries - almost dying etc...... they sat in absolute silence..... I asked why they had not described it - they told me they could not see it .. I told them the only way anyone can see it is when her shirt is off and you can see her zipper( scar.)

I then told them about her having Down's syndrome and in very simple language explained what that meant - basically she will achieve things but in her time and a little slower than ' normal' children.... told them a little about what she can do.....

I again asked them why they did not say that she had Down's syndrome - they said they did not see it. I asked them did telling them that she had this make a difference... they said no - then lots of kids shared various stories about friends, relatives etc with special needs.

We then talked about how easy it was with some people to see that they had special needs ( boy in year 7 in wheel chair and kids are brilliant around him) not so easy when they look 'normal'.

I then said to them to remember sometimes when someone may not be acting 'right' as they see it that perhaps they should stop and think before they tease them or call them names or say anything - to which they told me to do that would be 'so out of order'

So I expanded the lesson and asked why they called each other horrible names( my english class) .... and what was the difference.

Boy they sat stunned and had to think about it....

I finished by telling them the thing that worries me most about dd is that people will tease her and treat her badly..... so we decided ( as a class) that next time we see something different happening we will not point, stare, tease etc - we will be respectful and helpful.

So hopefully these kids go away and think about their behaviour.

Sorry for the ramble - just wanted to share.

twiglett Wed 11-Feb-04 19:27:21

message withdrawn

lou33 Wed 11-Feb-04 19:51:49

Am full of admiration for you Eidsvold. You should definitely win a teaching award, you are bloody brilliant.

Hulababy Wed 11-Feb-04 19:58:14

Fantastic eidsvold. Sounds like a great lesson and I am sure you have really given those kids something to mull over.

Davros Wed 11-Feb-04 21:04:43

Eidsvold, that's one of the nicest things I've heard. You must be a great and interesting teacher. You ought to write it up and send it as an idea for a standard class to the DofE or get the BBC to film you!!! SO nice too when you're missing your little girl and could just find it all too difficult, instead you got something really positive out of missing her.

lilibet Wed 11-Feb-04 21:09:16


Aren't you wonderful!

Sat here all weepy and in total admiration.

What an ispiring woman, teech of the year deffo!!

eidsvold Wed 11-Feb-04 21:27:43

Thanks... I really just wanted to share - it is a tough school I teach in and lately it has really been getting to me - to the point of thinking of never teaching again when we return to Australia.....I am not that amazing..... I have my little flashes of brilliance - that was one of them - the next will be due about 2010.....

eidsvold Wed 11-Feb-04 21:28:45

I was so proud of them too - a little nervous when I started but I just went for it and figured if they had a problem well I would deal with it .... they really responded so well.... it really made my day.

squirmyworm Wed 11-Feb-04 21:37:40

Eidsvold you sound like a star. Treasure your day and what you did. I bet it's something they will always remember.

jmb1964 Thu 12-Feb-04 00:21:38

Filling up as I read - I wish you could come and visit the bigger kids in my ds1's school SOON!! He doesn't even look different (Aspergers) but they all know he is, and I'm starting to worry if there are little gangs of them on the pavements on the way home..
Your pupils today will NEVER forget what you've talked about with them, and they will be better people for it - well done!

fio2 Thu 12-Feb-04 07:42:10

eidsvold agree with everyone else, you sound like a gem

Davros Thu 12-Feb-04 08:51:19

Sorry to hijack, but do any of you with Aspie kids watch Grange Hill with them? I think Martin, the Aspie boy, is very good.

Luckymum Thu 12-Feb-04 10:30:10

Eidsvold......perhaps you should go to Virgin with Jimjams and sort out their disability awareness training. Well done.

mrsforgetful Thu 12-Feb-04 10:40:01

I am printing that 'lesson' off if you don't mind and am giving it to my son's school SENCo and will ask that it is presented during an assembly- and i am going to use it to try and help ds1 accept his Asperger's - as he is still reluctant to discuss- though have had som sucess lately by explainung why i buy certain things for him and why they help etc.

Thankyou for reminding me that there are some fantastic teachers out ther!

Caroline5 Thu 12-Feb-04 17:57:49

What an amazing lesson eidsvold! Those children are very lucky to have you

eidsvold Thu 12-Feb-04 20:10:25

mrs forgetful - my SENCO - brilliant woman did a lesson for a form class containing a boy with aspergers - about hidden special needs - want me to get that from her and arrange to send it to you????

hmb Thu 12-Feb-04 20:25:44

Stunning lesson, now I see why your dd is so great. She is just like her mum (smarmy but true).

Just had to do chromosomal abonormailies with sixth form, covering the ethical issues of screening and possible terminations etc. I used you and dd as an example of positive choice....hope that you don't mind. Class were very positive.

mrsforgetful Thu 12-Feb-04 22:34:44

eidsvold- that would be absolutely fantastic! I will do a 'contact-a-member' to you and give you my details! You are a STAR! xx
I've printed your story off- and headed it Hidden Disabilities....and am giving 1 to each of the grandparents....and tempted to mail it through every letterbox- but that's a bit extreme!

aloha Thu 12-Feb-04 23:01:19

Eidsvold, that's just beautiful. I bet those children have learned more from you than anyone, and their lessons will change their lives. I hope to teach my son the same things.

aloha Thu 12-Feb-04 23:02:30

Also, I think children have huge amounts of compassion and kindness, if directed the right way.

marthamoo Thu 12-Feb-04 23:03:40

eidsvold, I hope my boys have teachers like you.

sunchowder Fri 13-Feb-04 16:35:25

Fantastic Eidsvold, this really touched me. I wish also that my DD could have a teacher as wonderful as you!

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