Saturday, September 28, 2013

Stating the Obvious

One of the biggest transitions between working exclusively with students with intellectual disabilities and working with a more general education population is how aware the kids are. They don't miss a thing. My students in my classroom last year were accepting of most adults and situations. They didn't question if your clothes didn't match, if you had a bad hair day, or if you made a mistake. They would roll with it. I guess I started to take that for grant it.

Of course if you work with typically developing elementary school students you know this isn't the case. At least one kid in each class is going to be aware of something out of the ordinary. My first year teaching I had a student ask me, "How are you even going to get a husband if your hair looks like that?" 
You know, that kind of thing. Comments your friends would find a way to point out to you nicely and your acquaintances would simply ignore. 

Last week I went over to speak to a boy who was loudly whispering to a friend in line. He was very into his conversation and clearly didn't want to be bothered by this new teacher who'd suddenly showed up in his classroom. He turned to me, slightly, as I reminded him to stand quietly in line. He looked like he planned to ignore me, but then his eyes started to get big.

"Are you having a baby or something?" he asked in horror, staring straight at my stomach. 

And I knew, immediately, that I was back in a typical elementary school classroom, for better or worse. 

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