I've seen this before although not in movie form. It is a powerful message for everyone.
I actually did have a middle school student from a very poor background give me a tarnished bracelet with a stone missing one Christmas when I first started teaching. I still have it. His story did not end so happily, though. He ended up in prison and I still wonder how he is doing from time to time.
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I actually did have a middle school student from a very poor background give me a tarnished bracelet with a stone missing one Christmas when I first started teaching. I still have it. His story did not end so happily, though. He ended up in prison and I still wonder how he is doing from time to time.
1) The only people I can send the link to, who would watch it, are already on the campaign trail to make our local teachers more aware of the problems. We seem to have a whole community of Teddys and pre-enlightenment Mrs Thompsons. They would never watch this, except with a curl on their lips.
2) Why did so many of the previous teachers not do something earlier? Surely some sort of support could have been put in place by an earlier years' teacher, to cushion this child? As each year's report was read, I felt the frustration - what took so long, for ANYONE to make the connection and help this child?
I have seen too many Teddys and too little support. But I have seen the occasional flash of enlightenment and right now I'm seeing, in a young friend of ours, the joy that comes when she finally is given a chance to express her ability to learn well.
Teddy had reasons for his problems. But when a bright, capable, obedient child is 'dumbed down' by a teacher whose main motivation seemed to be, "this child is too bright, too big for her boots," and the school permits this to continue after being told about it, then you have a child who is being taught to NOT achieve or she will be victimised.
She has been at a new school for two weeks. Already she is blossoming, happy and enthusiastic. I've been asked by her mother to collect her after school today and I'm looking forward to it - I enjoy being around this kid. She is also very good for difficult child 3.
She is only one child of many. I grieve for this local school which has allowed this to happen, over many years. We now live in a community full of kids like Teddy would have become, if he hadn't been helped.
It's not pretty.
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Why did so many of the previous teachers not do something earlier? Surely some sort of support could have been put in place by an earlier years' teacher, to cushion this child? As each year's report was read, I felt the frustration - what took so long, for ANYONE to make the connection and help this child?</div></div>
You did see that last statement at the end of the movie that said that this was a fictional story, right?
The earlier teachers could only do what the author wrote.
But I do agree that it is a powerful story which gives food for thought. All of us (teachers, parents of difficult children, doctors, social workers, etc.) can certainly make a big difference in a child's life.
yeah, Kathy I did see that it was fiction. Still made me cranky though, at those fictional teachers... OK, I know I'm a sucker, but it is how good writing works.
The trouble is, we had a very similar history with difficult child 3. His Communication Book reads like those annual reports, with notes by me every so often pointing out connections that were being ignored. ("Please can we bring in some urgent partial attendance alternatives?") To their credit there were a couple of teachers who did try to be heard, but they quickly got stepped on by both the District people and their colleagues. It got to the point where I couldn't even get a therapist or autism expert that I had hired, to be permitted to observe and report back to the class teacher - the class teacher was preventing it. This is directly in conflict with our rules, but I would have had to go to the Education Minister to get something done, and by then difficult child 3 was spending too much time out of the classroom with his "mystery illness" (which turned out to be extreme anxiety - ever known a kid to throw a fever from anxiety? difficult child 3 does!)
So teachers like those fictional ones who wrote the reports but never did anything - that has been our main experience. I guess that's why I'm so touchy on the subject. And why I wish we could have you over here, Kathy, showing some of our local idiots how teaching SHOULD happen. It's like we have our own mini-mafia here, an isolated pocket of educators whose main aim is to protect mediocrity at all costs, even if it means damaging the children in the process. Yes, it really is that bad. And it's not Aussie teachers in general - I know a lot of really good teachers. But few of them stay in our area, they can't stand it and have to leave. A teacher friend of mine I saw again this evening - she recently quit because she was being bullied by a colleague who was attacking her so he could protect his own laziness. A long story (I won't tell it now) but all too common. She has no recourse - she tried everything she could and resignation is all that's left. The colleague is still there doing damage. Part of that damage involves ignoring urgent intervention requests for problem students.
I just don't know how the system could have evolved to protect louses like this. But it has.