Teachers (Current or Pre-Service) with Learning Disabilities?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by nycteacher82, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. nycteacher82

    nycteacher82 New Member

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    Jan 21, 2014

    I am currently in my last semester of a M.A. Program in NYC. I start my student teaching February 3rd. I am currently in the process of taking all the new exams the state of NY is requiring: ALST, EAS, and CST Social Studies. I took the ALST and I did a horrible job. I felt that the reading comprehensive and write exam was very hard and I did not use my time wisely (my fault, I know). I have the EAS exam this Friday (01.24) and CST next Friday. I am not prepared for either (my fault, I know). My problem is that I struggle with taking exams and since I started the MA program, I realized that I have had a learning disability all the years. It is quite obvious that I had a clue, but now it is catching up with me. I have struggled throughout my entire program and "barely" made it so far. Now more than ever, I feel inept to teach middle school and high school Social Studies. I feel that my program has not properly prepared me. I feel that my knowledge of US and World History is waning, while my knowledge of Russian, Jewish, Middle Eastern, and Nazi Germany has increased due to the pointless graduate level history classes I have had to take. I have only been in front of a classroom of students once and I believe I failed miserably. My students observations where total **** shows as I watched students terrorize their teachers. I have become more depressed, helpless, and anxious and I am not sure what to do. I don't really have anything else I am good at doing. I want to be a good teacher, better than the teachers I had growing up and I want to help students like myself who "fall through the cracks".

    There is so much more information I would like to add, but wanted some feedback.
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jan 21, 2014

    I'm a bit confused with your post.

    One thing that stuck out at me is where you said your knowledge has increased due to the pointless graduate level courses you've had to take. How could they be pointless if they increased your knowledge in the subject you want to teach?

    Do you truly feel as though the career you've chosen (the one you're inept at) is the only thing you're good at doing?
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jan 21, 2014

    Hugs, nycteacher. Let me suggest focusing less on the differences between what you're learning right now and what's tested on New York's tests and more on the similarities. Look for ways in which the history of Russia connects with the history of Central Asia, the Middle East, Western Europe, and the US. Look for how Islam in the late first millennium fed off classical civilization and the ripples of that for the West. You might find it helpful to get hold of a good historical atlas.
     
  5. nycteacher82

    nycteacher82 New Member

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    Jan 24, 2014

    I suppose what I meant is that the curriculum should be more focused on teaching middle school and high school social studies. I suppose I am frustrated, I know this is what I want to do, to teach that is. I get excited about thinking about it. But I feel "inadequate" at times because my peers make it seem so easy.

    I am in the process of regrouping, trying to figure out if there is something I am not doing correctly or if my education will pay off.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 24, 2014

    What makes you think that you have a learning disability?
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 24, 2014

    And what type of program are you in? In my masters program, I studied a lot of "real" content, stuff like Xenophon, Plautus and Terence, and the topography of Rome. My program was a sort of halfsie program, where half of it was content-area stuff and the other half was Ed-related (methods, best practices, curriculum, etc.). The only teaching courses I took were in the Ed half of the program; the content stuff was still vitally important to me, though. I'm not sure why you feel like the content in your program is "pointless". It's a little scary that you think so, honestly, because I would expect a secondary teacher with a masters in his or her content area to have a pretty solid grasp on that content.
     
  8. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Jan 31, 2014

    I agree with Caesar--Why do you think you have a learning disability?

    I also went through a very tough awakening when I started student teaching. It became very clear that I had some sort of learning issue that I had compensated for very well up until I went in front of a classroom. I have since been diagnosed with ADHD, and I found that disability really affected my ability to see and respond to problems, etc. Since then I have learned a lot about ADHD and learned how to work well as a teacher despite some of my weaknesses. So, don't assume that because you are having a difficult time now, that it will always be that way. Imagine if we thought that about our students!
    However, if you are failing tests because you don't know the content or because you don't take it seriously, that is a different matter.
     

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