October 3, 2007

Let the Crippled Kid Do It

My students had to do group dramatic presentations today for our conclusion of our study of Twelfth Night. (We're going to see a performance this week, too!) I asked that one person in each group write the names of the people in the group and information about the scene on a large note card. This was the easiest way for me to record who was in each group and take notes on the presentations without spending all my time writing their names down.

One of the cards was barely legible, so I called out and asked who made the card for the group.

"Andy did it!"

"Oh, really? That's nice. Make the kid with a broken arm do the writing! Who's doing the thinking in that group?"

That was definitely a banging-my-head-on-the-wall moment. You have to love the kid who is struggling to write with his opposite arm but is so happy to pull his own share in the group--even if it's so wrong!

This reminds me of a student I had in summer school a few years back. When it was time to clean up the room at the end of the day, he had no problem getting down on the floor to pick up little bits of paper. Some of his classmates were too cool to clean up after themselves and each other, but not this kid. Yea, that would be the kid who had no fingers on his hands crawling around picking up bits of this and that. Amazing.

I love it when students don't treat their disabled classmates differently, and I love it even more when those disabled students don't let anything get in the way of living; however, isn't there a time when it's okay to help a kid out without injuring his pride? It's an interesting relationship between kindness and acceptance.

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