How to set students with disabilities for success: questions for educators
Without further ado, let me start off with the questions for educators in dealing with students with disabilities.
Can we be frank with ourselves and educate misfortunate students? My hope is that we can. Or who wants to see a whole section of human societies go uneducated, just because of a challenge that shouldn’t be an issue?
Can we display a sense of humility in front of disabled students? Teaching requires tremendous effort to connect with students. In fact, until the knots click, we will have human bodies in seats with the mind closed. And the longer and more serious our lecture, the further our chances of getting along with them gets.
Well, some students especially those who are gifted can follow you through. But there are some who, for a variety of reasons, wish if you stop talking and adjourn the class. That means that they are having a hard time following our points. That means that our communication lacks humility, the cornerstone of any purposeful relationship.
Can we enlist the support of gifted students? It takes a great deal of humility to help misfortunate students. However, it takes more than humility to ask other students to publicly and forwardly support their peers with disabilities. By doing so, will be creating communities of practice where both teachers and students engage in the practice of teaching.
Can we celebrate the presence of students with disabilities in traditional classrooms? There is nothing nobler than appreciating the fact that these students make it to regular classrooms. Can we acknowledge the fact that these students come to school every day with immense obstacles in their way? Needless to say, we are more likely to boost their morale and attention to teaching material, and ultimately help them succeed in their endeavors.
These questions are not particular for educators in certain parts of the world. They are for us, all. A personal caveat: I believe that educators are mini-parents who spend a huge amount of time with kids who carry with them different expectations, cultural indifferences and, most importantly, disabilities. These disabilities stand between these kids and their dreams.