Over the years, I have heard some teachers refer to students who struggle as “unintentional learners.” I have always confronted and fought this attitude. Unfortunately, many teachers do not understand learning disabilities and the problems faced by students in their classroom everyday.
The public school system is geared to serve the student who does not have any significant challenges. Teachers are not trained in how to help students who struggle. Even some special education teachers lack the knowledge and skills when dealing with students who have disabilities. Most districts and schools are waking up and beginning to understand the importance of meeting the needs of these students. I was able to observe many positive changes that help these students over my thirty year tenure in the public schools.
We are fortunate at Maple Lake to have teachers who are sensitive to these learning disabilities and who continually train and learn about them. Class sizes are low at our school but it is a great challenge in meeting the individual needs of every student in the class. With the help of house staff, and the student’s therapist, we are able to develop and carry out a positive educational plan for our students.
It is very rewarding for the teachers to watch the students grow over a period of time at Maple Lake. As the students work on their treatment and school work, the teachers literally watch them change and grow in their executive function skills, social skills, vital behaviors, academic knowledge, and other areas as well.
I would just like to thank the teachers at our school for all the hard work and effort that they put in on each student’s behalf. It is awesome to work with a group of educators and others who are so committed in helping students grow.
The short video clip below is a touching look at how things might be seen from the student’s point of view.