September, 15th, 2011 I am a student in high school I look just like everyone else, but I am different in many ways, I have challenges that I have to face daily. I am in the special education program; I personally have trouble with tests. There are so many different factors that I have no idea or can understand to their full extent, but I do know what it is like for me. Being in high school is hard enough if you are different. I have gotten some looks form kids that don’t understand what I go through, I get test read to me and sometimes my choices reduced.
When it is time for me to go down to a resource room I always get looks and when someone asks and the teacher says they think we are getting a privilege. Sometimes we can take a quiz in the class with reduced questions , sometimes other students grade the test and when they see we only get 2 or 3 choices instead of 4, they get mad thinking we get it easier. What they don’t see is our brains don’t work the same way as there’s do. These accommodations help make the test like it would be for anyone else, understandable. We have to study just like everyone else if not more.
I am very thankful for the program, it is helpful and I am able to pass my classes and tests. There is one thing I have noticed that I think can be improved. This year I chose to take an AP (Advanced Placement) class, my advisor told me that it was going to be hard and wasn’t too sure if I can handle it with my other classes, that it might be too much. I decided to stay in my AP class, with in the first two weeks; I found out that it was hard. That’s the point though to be challenging and is like a college course, we can even get college credit. In this class we have to take out own notes.
Every other class I have had either we had followed along notes, a PowerPoint and a print out of the slides and have to fill in the blanks while the teacher explains. Or a PowerPoint and we have to write it down while listing to the teacher. This AP class we get assigned reading and have to pick out what is important and do it all ourselves. Which I agree that’s what college will be like do it yourself. My point I want to make is, I wasn’t prepared for this, no one showed me how to take good notes and be able to pick out what is important. Now this can be true for students that aren’t in special education.
I did get a bit lost and didn’t know what to study, everything has always been there for me and ready to go. I was thinking the other day, why didn’t anyone show me how to do this? Do they not want me to succeed? What about life after high school not everything is going to be handed to us. The special education program is there to help us and make things easier so that it can be done. So why not prepare us and show us how to do these things on our own? Help us find ways to understand, take notes, tests, with our disability? What about testing? Will there always be help in life after high school, with test or notes or anything else? What about those students those want to go to med school? Or any other job might not have these programs. So we should be taught how to deal with our disadvantages so we can be dependent on ourselves.
Here is something to think about; the written part of the driving test, not always available to have accommodation, so how are we supposed to take it? I tried something one year, there was a class that I knew all the material, the study guide was just like the test and I got all the right answers. When test day arrived I decided to take the test just like everyone else no help, when I got the results back I got a low C, the teacher let me retake the test with the help, on the retake I got 100%. So what about the day I take the driving test and help isn’t offered? Do I just take the score I get and hope that I pass? If I was shown how to work with tests and studying, I might not have to worry about all this. Some people might not agree with me or think they are doing their jobs, but is it worth it to try something different? Change something and show students like me how to work with it and be successful with whatever I chose. Everyone tells me you can do anything you put your mind to, I want to, I want to be able to be a doctor if I want to, or a lawyer. These thing include a lot of studying tests and notes, I should be prepared and be confident enough to be successful.
We can’t change what we have but we can change how we look at ourselves and how we feel about our challenges’.