Every day there is an array of parents sitting in the reception of counseling room with kids having a learning disability. Parents, teachers and schools have not just used but abused this terminology 'learning disability'. Yes, learning disability exists. It’s also validated by psychologists and therapists and needs treatment. But the term is used many times by teachers and parents who have tried a few or no strategies or techniques. It’s not just the kids who look for instant gratification and results, parents and teachers are no different. When asked "have have you tried any other method?”. Conveniently the parent says “She/he is not able to comprehend or understand.” Parents don’t answer the question properly. That doesn’t mean we label parents as adult ADHD. People tend to answer somewhat different in certain situations. With changing times learning is a very different field. Learning is not just a struggle in schools, it’s a pain in professional institutions and even corporates. It is no more throw them in a room and straighten them. When children are smarter and knowledge is free and in abundance, maybe we need to do something about our ability to teach.
We need to learn how to teach differently than labeling them with a learning disability. But then labeling it as a teaching disability may not be appropriate too. If I had not given the title you wouldn’t have read it till here. New teaching techniques include giving something unexpected. Surprise elements make learning intriguing and interesting. There has to be some unexpectedness in it. With increasing 30-40 sec advertisements, the attention span of kids and adults too is limited. Make sure your concept is like a 30 sec advertisement. Even if not as intriguing as “How to get away with a murder” or “Breaking Bad ” but we can give it a try.
The concept has to be simple. Many teachers take pride in baffling the student with complex concepts. Teachers are used to with these concepts for years. This keeps them in an authoritative position. Rather we have to make a complex concept simple. Well, making anything simple is a difficult task. One has to break it down and make oneself understand and then comprehend and redo it. Hell no! It is a time-consuming and huge effort. If not done, can be labeled as teaching disability.
This three-step process can make your life a bit easier get more attention.
1) Breakdown any concept in three parts, start from the middle.
2) Then embed an intriguing fact about which they know something already.
3) End with a takeaway message then a strenuous homework.
Make subject concrete. Try to put a catchy line like “catches win matches” Aesop’s fables are a great teacher. When we think about The Fox and the Grapes Fable, “ It is easy to despise what you cannot get” That story is true for all teachers and parents too. Maybe so next time before labeling the child with a learning disability we need to rethink. Let’s see if we have done enough. And that we are not suffering for teaching disability. Remember ” Labels are for jars”
” Labels are for jars”
Himali Kelvekar, Student of English literature with a minor in communication, media and Psychology at christ university, Bangalore with a on-ground work experience in content writing ,editing,designing and public relations.
Sahil Takshak A student of Delhi University. Writing is my first love. Passionate about fitness, travelling, human psychology, cooking, politics, music, movies and books.