In an effort to get some discussion going, let's talk about educators. I'm sure everyone has had an instructor over the years who's Made A Difference in their lives, whether for the better or for the worst. Who were yours? If you ARE an instructor, or want to be an instructor, feel free to share your stories and observations as well.
Some noteworthy instructors in my academic history:
1) My third grade teacher, Mrs. B. She was the first one to recognize that there was a problem. She had been watching me all year, and saw the way my mind wandered and drifted, but could hyperfocus on certain things. She never gave up on me--she believed in me, continually telling me how smart and creative I was even when I was doing so poorly I was having perpetual stomach issues from the stress. When I went to be tested for ADHD, I was in danger of failing third grade. After I was medicated, my grades went up significantly, and I managed to get through the year successfully. If I had had anyone else, it might have been a drastically different story. I owe a lot to her.
2) Ms. C. She was my intermediate algebra professor (college instructor). I went into her class with a bag of emotions. I was dazed and shocked and wounded and humiliated from having been kicked out of school; I was pissed I had to take this stupid math class when I really just wanted to suffer through calculus and stats, which is required for my degree. I was also terrified, because, well, I'd been SO bad at math for SO long that I had become afraid of it, as afraid of it as if it were a facehugger or something. This woman worked wonders for me. I made a grade I expected on the first exam--a 72--and she wrote on my test, "You can do better than this. I believe in you."--despite having the paperwork in her hand that said, clearly, that I had dyscalculia. The next test, I made a 96, and it was one of the best days of my life, you guys. When I looked at her after she handed me that test and just beamed at her, she said, "See? I knew you could do it." She spent a semester encouraging me in everything, praising me for everything I did, and for the first time in my life, I felt GOOD about my math skills. I believed that I really could be a scientist, that I COULD get it right. I've not lost that feeling, despite currently struggling with advanced algebra.
So, who were yours?
LJ's Learning Disability Community