I’ve been thinking about suffering today. It started when I read The return of the Schools Fools (March 6th) post on Debi Alper’s site earlier in the week. It interested me because as an educationalist it pleases me when people say positive things about education and schools. Even before I finished my degree I was very disillusioned with the direction education was taking in
In discussions with my colleague, particularly from
But how does this lead me to think about suffering? Well, from day one of my career I was sensitive to the needs of students with special educational needs, which is probably a good thing because in my second year I had sixteen SEN kids in a class of thirty two. I learnt on the job and later I made it my business to learn more. When Juan Carlos who shortened his name to Carlos and still couldn’t spell it finally spelt his name correctly because we had spent weeks with those Hickey Multisensory cards I was proud. We deviated a little and used sponges in the playground and did it in batik and everything, but you know, he got it. Anyway to cut a long story short I know my stuff now and I understand why I have always been drawn to this field. I can see now why I didn’t do so well at school. Why when I grew up in bilingual family I left home firmly monolingual, but when push comes to shove, I won’t say I’m dyslexic.
This is what I was thinking about this morning. Why won’t I say it? And then it hit me. I struggled, but I don’t think I suffered. Somehow I got through and somehow this has stayed with me. And now I’m asking myself why is it inculcated in me that these students should have to suffer? We are well past the days of ‘word blindness’. Research has taught us a lot and brain research is enabling us to know more than ever before. We know how to deal with dyslexia, no child should suffer. So why? Why when I went back last night to that original post did I find two comments there that frankly just made me want to break down and cry and woke me up at seven this morning still thinking about it?
I’m at a loss and all I can say is that I feel for children and the parents of those children who still suffer unnecessarily. Somehow education isn’t working for all children and I don’t believe that it’s a utopian ideal that it should. So how are we going to deal with this? I hope someone out there has some answers.