I had an interesting moment today.
It was a weird day in that I didn't have to teach much and the students weren't around. They were upstairs in music and home ec and shop. I stay away from those.
During the shop/home ec (it depends) class, one of the girls from my class came back downstairs. She's one of the students with particular needs. For instance, she can't hold a pencil to write. The EA scribes for her. Well, today, before leaving for her lunch break, the EA asked me if I could give this student a hand. I finished helping out the one guy, forgot about the girl, suddenly remembered, then made my way over there. I'm not lying when I say I'm a scatterbrain.
Anyway, I had the students make me age pyramids. I was mean and told them that they had to do it by hand. (GOOD LORD! NOT BY HAND MISS DAILY!) Actually, the reason was because I want them to understand what it is they're doing. If you're at the computer, you just put in the numbers and the computer does everything else for you. There's no learning involved. But are you seeing the problem yet?
So, I get over to her table and ask her what I can help her with. She says the graph. I asked her what about the graph was causing her problems. Clearly I was having a slow day. Finally she told me that I would have to write for her. It was at the point, that I realized that this particular assignment wasn't working for this kid. She wouldn't be able to do anything. And what's the point of watching someone else do it for you? I would find that boring, insulting and counterproductive. I might also start to feel bad about myself. Finally, I felt like a moron. She was so sweet about it too. She never said anything, she never asked me to modify it. And when I apologized to her, she just laughed it off.
It took me about twenty minutes, but I managed to find a way to set up her computer (because she can type) so that she'd be able to do the graph herself. I couldn't believe that I hadn't thought of this girl when I set the assignment. Before she left, I asked her to tell me if I did something like that again so we could work out a way for her to do the assignment. I also asked the EA to help me in that regard.
Talk about taking things for granted.
Hopefully I learned to take all of my students' abilities into consideration.