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Tuesday, September 10, 2013
My faith in humanity has been restored!
The thing that surprised me the most this week... My faith in humanity has been restored. In my 4th block class I have 29 students, (which I realize is dangerous in a CTAE class because of safety issues), I have several students with disabilities. One student which has Autism struggles to maintain. I work closely with him to help to keep his studies as "normal" as possible but at times it's very complicated. The other students obviously know that he is special need and instead of pushing him away they have completely embraced him. I see students reaching out to make sure he understands or even helping him stay on task, without me having to prompt. I have never seen teenagers react in that way. I gave the student the opportunity to present his project to me, my paraprofessional, or to the class. I didn't think that he would feel comfortable presenting to the class because his speech at times is very hard to understand. When he chose to present, I was shocked but also I felt as if it could turn out very ugly, after all we are dealing with teenagers. The class grew silent. They had talked rudely during every other presentation. This could go either way at this point. I was nervous, trying to sort out in my head how I would handle each situation. The student continued on with the project, he was precise with his time. I gave them 3-5 minutes and he timed his presentation to the 4 min mark. He checked his watch several times during his presentation. You could tell he had prepared before hand. His presentation was extremely hard to understand, but he was determined to complete this project just as everyone else had. When he finished, a smile came across his face as the other students clapped. Everyone clapped... His dedication and hard work was unlike the other students, and they knew it. He who struggles with concentration, speech, writing, and communication had out worked the students by far. He never complained, he never made excuses, he didn't beg or plead with me to be excused from presenting... He offered, when he was the only one with another option. I was so proud of him, but equally proud of my other students who accept him for who he is and constantly help to build him up not bring him down. :)