Paul and Gayle are taking a year from their roles in Picton and Belleville and will be teaching at the Maple Leaf International School in Trinidad. We will use this blog to record some of our edventures!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff

One of the things I love most about teaching is that every day is different and that there are often big challenges to work through or problems to solve.

Insert grade 11 university level chemistry here.

I am currently teaching a group of 14 students, 13 boys and 1 girl. Out of the 13 boys in the room, 7 most definitely struggle to pay attention for more than 3 minutes at a time. No problem - my style of hands on learning suits this group quite well. The more exciting of the challenges with this group is my Asperger’s student Demetri.

I have taught a few with Asperger’s before, but seeing as no 2 Aspies are the same, Demetri presents some unique learning opportunities for me. 

You see, Demetri is not only Asperger’s, but a perfectionist as well. He struggles to put pen to paper because it won’t be perfect. To ease this struggle and help access Demetri's learning I often dedicate my prep period to chatting with Demetri and testing him orally. We've built a pretty good rapport over the semester, but he'd still rather tell me about things unrelated to chemistry. Go figure! In theory the oral testing should work well, but Demetri lacks confidence in his academic abilities and therefore whispers his responses.

Most recently we’ve moved into learning and solving chemistry problems with math. I was hopeful that Demetri would take to this like white on rice as it is concrete, logical and defined. Much to my chagrin math isn't his thing. In fact, when I asked him if he likes math, Demetri replied very matter of fact, "Well Miss, it is a means to an end." 

Daily I question the best way to help Demetri learn (chemistry) and build life long skills. From all of this I've really had to modify my rigid expectations of evaluation for students. Demetri knows a lot and accessing it requires some creative solutions. Please - if you have any suggestions, fire me an email. I'd love to try it. 

Chemistry aside, Demetri is into chess (he is trying to teach me at lunch), Harry Potter and acting. Again, go figure. Last week Tuesday was "Twin Tuesday". I didn't think twice about it, as I was coming off of "Mismatch Monday" and looking ahead to Western Wednesday. So I donned my smashingly good looking skirt and shirt as per usual. Upon arrival at school, I was photocopying something in the library and along came Demetri. He asked me, "Miss, do you think it is ok for a student and teacher to be twins?" I thought it would fine and told him as much. Then he said, "What Harry Potter house do you belong to?" A bit off guard, I wracked my brain for any house name (it's been a while since I've read the books) and replied, "I know I'm not Slitherine." This bought me enough time to come up with Hufflepuff. Well, his eyes lit up and Demetri said, "I have a Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw gown in my locker."I saw where this was going. So I asked him if he was asking me to be his twin and before he could reply I told him I'd love to be his twin. Together we rocked the robes, and I taught in it all day!

Needless to say, we were definitely the COOLEST twins at Maple Leaf. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment.