1. After viewing the F.A.T. City workshop clips, what did you see as one of the main “take-away” messages?
I choose some take away messages from different sections throughout the film. I will use the information from the video and apply it to my everyday tasks in my future classroom. Starting from the beginning of the film with the “Difficult Times to Processing” section it allows me to understand students with learning disabilities have twice as much to process, question and answer so they need more time.
The “Risk Taking” section taught me how students with learning disabilities like reassurance and do not like surprises. If I have a student with a learning disability, I would make sure they knew ahead of time a very important test or quiz and what information they would need to study and help them prepare. The “Behavior” hit me hard for I remember as a child one of my classmates had a learning disorder and would be sent to detention but could not understand why the teacher disliked her when all she kept doing was asking questions.
During the film I really enjoyed the “Visual Motor Coordination”, the Mirror trick was entertaining and helpful. I would expect the elementary education students to pay close attention to how hard writing might actually be for students with learning disabilities. “Oral Expression” explained how hard it really is for students with learning disabilities to even speak at times. When I get nervous I begin to stutter which makes me more nervous, I cannot even imagine what an LD child endures all day long, and it would be exhausting. The last section regarding “Fairness”, reminded me how every teacher should be reminded of how in order to be fair you must treat everyone differently and according to their needs.
2. As a current and/or future teacher of students with learning disabilities, in what ways do you think that Mr. Lavoie captured the experiences of students with LD?
The Film allows viewers to experience the same frustration, anxiety and tension that children with learning disabilities face in their daily lives. Teachers, social workers, psychologists, parents and friends participated in Richard Lavoie's workshop. After they completed the workshop they reflected their experience and the way it changed their approach and viewpoints to children with learning disabilities.
Rather than straight lecture, the workshop requires the participants to try for themselves in a classroom simulation, taking the place of child with a learning disability. Richard Lavoie stated that if they don't want to role play or get involved, that's too bad because learning disabled students don't get a choice whether they want to be in the classroom. He was shooting questions at a rapid-fire pace, questions that would be simple if given the time or a less hostile environment. I expected all of the participants to be able to respond, but within six minutes of the workshop, they all began showing signs of shutting down.
3. The purpose of the film is to orient workshop participants (and by extension, viewers of the video) to the general characteristics of students with learning disabilities. What is one strategy that you have seen that would support one of the characteristics or needs of as student with a learning disability?
I am very glad I got to watch this film, it gave me insight on how much harder learning and school is for a child with a learning disability. I would recommend this film to all aspiring teachers. I plan to take the time to sit and plan out correct and helpful learning activities to better the child and help them learn as well as build their self-esteem. I feel I would offer instructions or directions to students with learning disabilities while remembering to use consistent vocabulary, give ‘bite size’ directions, accompany the explanation with a demonstration, and use cueing words.