I’ve taught for many years in a system that I have often questioned when it comes to students and learning disabilities. As an outside-of-the-box thinker, I’ve always hoped for more freedom in teaching to reduce the necessity for a child being labeled as learning disabled when I thought there might be a better way.
In my opinion, schools need to offer a more “balanced” curricula including both visual and performing arts as well as extended opportunity for inquiry and exploration. If offered, I believe we would have a much smaller ESE population. Walk into any ESE class and you will find talented students in these areas. If not, you’ll find students who lack focus because their minds are sparked with imagination and their personalities are bursting at the seams from the skill and drill activities they take part in.
Google search famous people with learning disabilities and you’ll find less than average students who had the tenacity and intrinsic abilities (not valued by education) to prove their teachers wrong. I share a list and a YouTube presentation. Both are inspiring and encouraging.
Famous people with learning disabilities:
Will Smith, Jim Carey, Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Jordan, Bruce Jenner, Magic Johnson, Terry Bradshaw, Babe Ruth, Greg Louganis, Vince Lombardi, Pablo Picasso, Ansel Adams, Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leo Tolstoy, Robert Frost, and Edgar Allen Poe, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Malcolm Forbes, Andrew Carnegie, William Randolph Hearst, Henry Ford, FW Woolworth, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright, Wilbur Wright, Alexander Graham Bell, John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Cher, Buddy Rich, Beethoven, Mozart, Handel, President John F. Kennedy, President Thomas Jefferson, President Abraham Lincoln, President Dwight Eisenhower, President George Bush, and President George W. Bush, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Nicolai Tesla, Louis Pasteur, Galileo, and Sir Isaac Newton…
The list goes on. What were some of them told and what did they share?
Sydney Smith said, “The real object of education is to give children resources that will endure as long as life endures; habits that time will ameliorate, not destroy; occupation that will render sickness tolerable, solitude pleasant, age venerable, life more dignified and useful, and death less terrible.”
Reading, writing, and math are all important but there has to be more if we are to help our students actualize the above realities.
If you’re still with me – thanks for reading and listening!! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this…