Monday, August 12, 2013

Teacher Lesson #795426: NEVER underestimate

I've always thought that my students teach me more than I teach them. These "teacher lessons" that my kids share with me have changed me as a person- outside of the classroom- for the better. On Friday, I was reminded of a lesson I learned many years ago- NEVER UNDERESTIMATE ANYONE.

I have a student- lets call him Bob. Bob is autistic, nonverbal, and absolutely adorable. I was impressed that Bob could receptively ID pictures and common objects. I noticed that he liked to point to letters and words. I was blown away when he followed along with him finger as I read a book. On Friday, Bob showed my that he can do much, much more than that.

I guessed that he was associating spoken and written words when he would keep his finger in the same spot when I purposefully skipped words in a book. During his individual teaching session, I decided to try out a few new things. I took some flash cards and wrote very simple commands on them: touch your head, clap your hands, stand up, etc. as I placed each individual card in front of him, that smart boy performed each command with no verbal or physical prompting! As if that wasn't enough he later answered several written questions (by circling the correct answer) about pictures being shown to him. Wow! By the end of the day, my sweet paras were crying tears or joy and I was giddy with excitement for finding out just how much this little fella can do. What a wonderful reminder for me to push my kids to succeed and never, ever assume that they're unable to do something.

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