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Josh Garcia #11

Window, weapon, or support

a. The first thing and continuous thing that kept popping into my mind was the kids at my middle
school. Most of my students have very similar patterns to them like the ones described in this
chapter. Im not trying to say that all of them have ADHD, however I do worry that some of
them do and it will not be caught. There are several that have been diagnosed and my
cooperating teacher and I both modify our lessons to accommodate those students, Im just
concerned for the other students that are just labeled as trouble makers and disruptive. I have a
student in class who will still not know what is going on with the lesson even after we have just
explained it, like she was drifting off during the instruction time of the lesson. I not only worry
for my students but have to wonder how many go through school and never get diagnosed and
never find a way to work with it, and just them it consume them and have them think that they
are just not good enough? The part that still is eye opening to me was that the parents only
cared if he was doing well in school. Like that meant that he had his life together and was on the
right path. But the grades meant nothing to his mental wellbeing and it made him feel like no
one knew him. I still find it inspiring that in the essays we have read so far in this book they all
have realized that whatever learning disability they may have, is not a weakness. Most have
seen it as a strength and something that makes them who they are as a person.
b. It will change my approach in teaching in that I knew that the using strategies to combat LDs in
class would benefit all students, not just the unique ones that do have a LD. But I didnt think
how useful they are also going to be to the students that do have a LD but have not been
diagnosed and have no idea they even have one. I see how valuable the strategies can be and
how important they are and how important it is that teachers use them.
c. How do you tell the difference from a child that is just maturing differently to a child that does
have a LD like ADHD? When as a parent do you say I want to test my kid?


A. The part that was most impactful to me was just how misunderstood and trapped Gretchen felt.
How that even when she wanted to enjoy her time with her dad she felt like she was only able
to disappoint him. The fact that she was so anxious to tell her mother in fear of her abuse is just
heartbreaking to me. The entire family structure was setting her up for failure. Another example
of just how important a students home life can be to their success in school. It only served to
keep the downward spiral of her not understanding her ADHD and just partaking in self
destructive behavior. Its interesting to me that she was not able to control her body at times or
emotions but she was able to become a great listener and help her friends with their problems.
She gave up on trying to figure herself out and just focused on others. Im inspired by the fact

Josh Garcia #11

that she was able to have a life altering change in herself by going to the retreat in nature. It also
troubles me that in her life no one was really able to help her out or explain to her what she was
facing. I see a common theme with all the stories that we have read is that all of the individuals
writing the essays have an attitude of owning whatever learning disability they may have. They
do not shy away from the label and they in turn use is as a strength. Gretchen in this essay
found it was one of her unique features that on one else has like her, other people may have
ADHD as well but none of them have it the same way that she does.
B. For teaching this essay just reminded me again how important it is to know your students and
be able to identify characteristics that you pass along to the correct parties to see if the student
needs to be tested, and get the information they need. I understand that they may not want the
Label but with at least knowing they can take other actions to help the student.
C. One question I had was after finding out that Gretchen had ADHD it did not seem like they got
any more information about what that meant and no information on what to do with it, my
question would be what happened if anything after they got the news? Another question I have
is how many other students go through school with the feeling of whats wrong with them?

Blake Academy

a. After reading the chapter again I felt amazed at how much there is a feeling of being
disconnected from the rest of the school/students when children know that they have a
LD. I was not surprised that the school did not want to pay for his private school once
they found out that he was special needs. I think that schools are too focused on being ran
like businesses and need to remember that they are serving a person and not just a
number. The fact that the school was more than happy to get rid of the low performing
student was just appalling to me. In my opinion that is what public schools are there for,
to provide a service to our nations youth, not just to score high on state exams and
qualify for more money. I can also identify with his fears of the bad kids from the other
school that he had to share a bus ride with. Even going into this semester of student
teaching I had a fear of the students simply because they are in a title 1 district and
everyone I talked to about it only had negative things to say about it. However like Oliver
I found that the students while different have struggles of their own and that is the reason
they can act out sometimes. They are not just bad because its who they are, they are
good kids with difficult circumstances to deal with. Im really not sure why I had this fear
considering all of the schools I went to growing up were title 1 schools, and I came from

Josh Garcia #11

b. This reading will change my teaching in that it makes me even more aware of just how
sensitive we as teachers have to be with understating the backgrounds of our students.
The entire last semester of classes has taught us that we need to be culturally ware of our
students backgrounds, and I think we need to take it one step further and understand
their misconceptions. That way we can clear those up or at least explain them in a
different manner. The other point that it will bring out in my teaching is just like the
previous chapter, in that I have to realize that there is a section of students that do feel
and are alienated by the labels the schools put on them.
c. What misconceptions have anyone else ever had?

Finally Reflection

a. After reading this I felt once again worried about all the nameless students that did not have
the same experience and never got the help that they needed. It was eye opening for me to
read how at different stages he struggled in a different way. The biggest surprise to me was
during the time when he was in a self-pace school. In my mind I thought that all students
would thrive in a school like that. The thought that it would not be implemented correctly
never crossed my mind. I didnt think that a student would need more guidance and then
have a teacher that failed to help the student when they are struggling as bad as he was.
The other part that struck me was when he finally got to college and instead of fading off to
the background and not want to stand out, he instead chose to seek out the LDSS. I go back
to what I always think of, for this one student that was able to have a positive experience
and turn his life around, how many do not. It was interesting to me that he was able to
succeed and even help other students when the classroom was when the class was able to
draw in his strengths on how he learned. It just proves once again that students that have a
LD does not mean that they cannot do the challenging work, they just have to do it a
different way. It was also sad to me when at the end he saw himself in a lot of the
characters in the movie he mentioned and reflected back on how his life would have been
different if he had received the proper support from the start. This also opened my eyes to
the fact that its every educators responsibility to help the students. Its not enough to just
give a student the support they need at one stage in life, its a continuous process that
changes as the student grows. Its just as important for primary teachers as well as
secondary teachers to provide the necessary accommodations.
b. This reading like most will change my teaching in that I really need to be aware of my
students and take note when if they repeatedly fail at something. If that does ever happen I
need to devote the time to figure out what I can do to help my students. Even if the school

Josh Garcia #11

program has a way that they want the teachers to teach, that is not an excuse to just not do
anything anymore. As a teacher the obligation to give your students the tools they need to
succeed still rest with you. Another way I will change my teaching would be to not do what
the first professor did in the essay. To be so wrapped up in what you think is your method
of teaching and not be able to adapt to new students to me is baffling. But on the other
hand I do still see examples of it and as unfortunate as it is I know it still happens.
c. Why does he feel that he would not have gotten the help he needed from the other
universities that he mentioned?
Do not all universities have those services for students?

Obstacles reflection

a. This chapter was probably the easiest to digest for me this semester. The reason of that is
because he was able to accomplish so much before he even knew that he had a learning
disability. He has his struggles that he had to overcome but he was always positive and never
willing to succumb to any challenges that he faced. Its very interesting to read that he is not
sure if being diagnosed at an earlier age would have helped him or harmed him more.
Throughout the majority of this semester we have talked about the importance of diagnosing
the students and getting them the appropriate accommodations to let them succeed. But in this
case his confidence and strive to be the best is what helped him more than anything. He stated
that even to this day knowing better he still struggles with letting people know that he has a
learning disability. This fear stemming from the fact that he is aware of the stigma there is with
knowing someone has a learning disability no matter how wrong that stigma is it still exists. But
back to what I was saying earlier that in this situation the outcome of his life might not have
been the same had he been diagnosed earlier in life and had to have the label put on him.
b. This reading will change the way I teach because it makes me more aware of how important it is
to remain as private as you can about a students learning disability. Just for the fact that it can
have damaging effects to the students confidence in themselves, you cannot make them feel as
if they are needy like Kevin mentioned in his essay. They are not needy, but the stigma that
comes from having a LD and how other people see it or how the student could see themselves is
c. The questions that this brings up is, is it more dangerous to not be diagnosed early enough or
more dangerous to be diagnosed at an early age?

Sense and sense abilities reflection

a. This essay was very eye opening or me in that it really gave me an understanding of what its like
to have autism. Im not saying that I understand completely now what they are going through,

Josh Garcia #11

but at least now I have a small idea of what it is like for one person that might have some
qualities similar to another person. I never imagined how sand or clothes might make them feel
pain and not want to touch either of them. I also thought the section talking about how he sees
people he does not know as aliens and does not like having to look at them in their eyes, was
very interesting. The thought that a person could look strange and scary to a child for some
reason did not cross my mind. Another interesting point in that section was that just because
the child or person does not look directly at you does not always mean that they are not
listening to you. The other really intriguing part of this essay was when he talked about being
caught up in his own world that he does not realize how much time passes. When he was
spinning for 3 hours just happy as can be and his family searching for him frantically. This was
very eye opening for me because we and I dont understand how that feels, the ability to be so
immersed into your connection with an object or sensation that you forget about everything
else thats going on around you.
b. This reading has changed the way I teach in that I no longer stress the point to have every
student in the room make eye contact with me or face me. I realize that they can still be
listening to what Im saying and I dont need to put so much weight behind them staring up at
c. My question would be, that I know that people with autism can grow up and have fully
functioning productive lives. But when the transitions take place form leaving the earplugs out
and not wearing the balaclava, do they have to then self-monitor themselves and come up with
and follow their own plans? Or does that vary from person to person depending on the severity
of the condition?