- Reflect on a learning experience from your elementary school, high school or post-secondary education.
- Why do you remember the learning experience?
- Can you remember what the teacher hoped you’d understand after the experience? Did you? Why or why not?
Reflection : High school vs. Post secondary learning experience
When someone ask what my experience was like in high school, I feel the typical answer on the tip of my tongue- My experience was great, sometimes dull, the teachers were strict, over the top dramatic of what post-secondary will be like, never seem to understand an individual goal or learning difficulties – basically meaning that the teacher saw the class as one person, not as an individual. Which at times, suck. On the other hand, I had great teachers that push me to mine full potential and did everything in their power to give me great learning experience.
Since recently, I was diagnosed with a learning disability in grade six. I am a visual learner. There was no help for me. I do not remember one teacher who went beyond to make me successful in their class since I was failing and getting behind my peers. I felt insecure and worthless student because i get distracted from the smallest sound of a chair scarping the floor, a red shirt or anything shiny. I would be tapping my foot and kicking other student’s chairs because I could not sit still. I had a hard time making friends because I had to move a lot to new schools and that made me create a shell of isolation since I had different curriculum of the provinces and territory- the government expects a student to learn. I have very messy writing that teachers complain to me every day to improve and my spelling and grammar. I took longer to complete the assignments on time since I had found some learning concepts difficult to learn and some knowledge and information difficult to understand and apply to real world experience. To matter worse, I have a creative, imaginative mind. I love to draw and write. I doodle on any paper or wrote on the margins because I could not attain the story that was making my mind crazy. With all those traits, how could I make it to high school without the accommodations I need to be successful? How can I learn how to manage when no one seems to give me answer I needed when I asked? I was basically in deep hole if I could not improve me grades to get to high school. Somehow I pass and manage to get to high school with decent grade. After I move half way through high school is when my learning experience change. The teachers were email my accommodation and took their time to make accommodations for my learning disability. They talk to me before and after class to go over the lesson plan, to identify what I learned and apply what I learned, they asked who sit beside me to assist me when I was trouble. They did not which I love call me out during class. They respected my wish and let me raise me hand to give me opinion/ answer. I had to go to half an hour lesson on ways to keep my binder organize, to be ahead of the class, to improve my thinking and reading skills. They gave me extra time to do tests and exams. One teacher I have to give credit for learning experience is my grade 11 history teacher. The course was combination of academic University and applied college curriculum. I was always in applied course. I decided to take a leap and go for this course since I am such a history nerd. I love learning about facts and different eras. I was very anxious choosing this course for my elective since my grades weren’t excellent. I let loose of my apprehensive thoughts and got in the class. The first day after the course introduction my teacher wanted to speak to me. I was inwardly cringing and thinking that he did not want me in his class. He probably thought I was a failure. I follow him outside the classroom. He was holding a small file with my name on it. What he said what very unexpected and made me tear up.
” I received an email from the office, sending me your IEP plan. I just want to tell you the steps I need you to do so I can do my job on making sure you understand the content and be successful.”
I never had any teacher tell me what they need from me to be successful – what are my distractions, what is areas I need improvement on, do I need to sit in a certain spot to learn, do you like to work in s group or independently.
He printed the slides for me every day to follow the lesson, he gave me an extra half an hour on quizzes and text, he made the slides visually appealing, had some videos to apply real world connection, he had only important things to remember, he gave more groups assignments than individual, gave copies of review of what will be on the test and exam. He showed diagrams, pictures and real artefacts’. He made my learning more successful and better. He created a new word in my vocabulary – success. I began to improve my grades and tests. I became more organize and with the extra help I manage to keep myself in control when I had the urge to get up and start walking around or draw all over my work. He made me feel I accomplished everything and I understood everything. It was the best class I ever enjoy, all thanks to him for taking innovative to know what type of learning I have and he can make his lesson plan to match my strengths.
Now that I’m in post-secondary, I have all the accommodations I need to succeed.
I have a coach who I see three times a month to discussed how I am doing in my classes, how the work load is working for me and other things to make sure I’m enjoying my time at school and being successful. My teachers divide different learning styles into their lesson for those who are audio, tactic, kinesics, visual, or oral learner to make sure that they are achieving their goal of the lesson for everyone and not thinking that the class is one person. I would have to say that post-secondary has been the better learning experience because not only am I learning about information of what I’m passionate about and will be get to apply it to real world, I’m getting the accommodations to help with my learning disability to make myself successful every day.
Felder, R.M., & Soloman, B.A. (n.d). Learning styles and strategies. Retrieved June 26, 2008, from: http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/styles.htm