Everything I would like you to know, but I am too shy to tell you
To My Teacher
I am not stupid or dumb, but I have a Learning
Difficulty which means I Learn Differently.
This information has been put together by a group
of children with learning difficulties to help you understand me and to show you
how I need to be taught in your class.
Please talk to me about anything you do not
understand or anything that interests you and you want to know more. We put this
information together so you can understand me better and help me reach my
Let me make mistakes. Please help the rest of the
class to accept my mistakes so I can learn - when they laugh behind my back I
stop learning and stop trying.
Put me into a group that will help me to behave,
not encourage me to be the class clown. I need the best role models.
Do not expect me to understand what you have said
just because the rest of the class does. Just check on me so that I know what
I am supposed to be doing and that I have the right equipment to do it.
Let me talk and accept what I say. It might sound
strange to you, but it makes perfect sense to me.
I get angry at times when I do not understand. I
do not mean to be naughty, but it is so frustrating when I really want to
understand like my friends, but I don't. (It won't always look that way.)
Don't make me call my marks out in front of the
class. When everyone is getting higher marks than me, it makes me feel bad. If
you say I can "pass" and I can tell you later, my classmates will know I am
ashamed of my mark. Again I feel bad.
My learning difficulty is a huge part of my life
so talk to me about it. I can help you teach me because I know what I need and
we can work out together what is the best way for me to learn in your
Understand that I do learn differently. Don't
expect me to learn the way the rest of the class learns. If the rest of the
class understands something, probably I won't, but I might be too shy to tell
you. Check up on me every now and then.
Get my permission before you talk to others about
me or my learning difficulty (even behind my back).
Don't ask me to read aloud in front of the class
or group without letting me practise first. Give me the option of saying no to
reading in front of my friends.
Give me time to think. If you are going to ask me
a question in class, try and give me prior warning so I have the time to think
of the answer. I enjoy being part of the class discussions, but I take longer
to think than some and I don't think as well when you surprise me.
Help me to pronounce words properly without
putting me down. It can be difficult spelling a word when I say it
When I write stories let me write my own ideas.
Help me to write it, but do not change it.
Sometimes it is hard for me to get the right word
out. My brain knows it , but it can be slow to send it to my tongue.
I can often forget what I was going to say if I
have my hand up too long. Don't draw the class's attention to this. Just go to
the next hand up and come back to me in a few minutes.
Do not put me down in front of the class. If you
need to talk to me about my behaviour, I will respond better if you do it in a
private setting. I hear what you have to say to me better if you can talk to
me, not yell at me.
If I get angry, give me time to calm down first
before you talk to me. I will be ready to listen to you then.
When I write, take time to appreciate what I have
written before you correct all my spelling mistakes.
Covering my work in red pen is so depressing. Have
you thought of using green, or maybe you could talk to me about what needs
correcting rather than putting lots of red crosses through my work.
When you tell me I am lazy or I need to try
harder, it makes me want to give up because I am trying. Believe you me, if I
could spell the word right or read the sentence, I would.
My brain gets tired because I have to work twice
as hard as my classmates. For them learning is not a struggle. For me it is a
long distance race. Sometimes it is easier to let me finish the work tomorrow
rather than to push me when my brain says it has had enough.
I have difficulty paying attention. It is not that
I do not want to hear you or not do what you want me to do. It is just that I
hear the birds outside and I stop to listen to them. I hear the girls
whispering in the back row and I want to join in their conversation. And I
hear the ambulance siren and I wonder where it is going. Don't get angry at
me. Just tap on my desk and quietly call my name. That reminds me to get on
with the task.
Putting head phones on will help me to concentrate
because it will filter out the noises I do not need to hear.
Do not put me near the window. I love to gaze
outside and that makes it hard for me to focus on what I am supposed to be
When you are giving instructions to the class,
make sure I have nothing in my hands and that I am looking at you. I do not
always remember to do this and need reminding.
Often I will forget instructions, especially if I
have to move from one place to another. If you write them on the board as
well, I will be able to see them when I forget.
Work out what is important for me. Is it really
necessary for me to copy lots of information from the board? I have a poor
memory and I have difficulty spelling, so when I copy from the board I do it
letter by letter, not word by word. Do you have the work on a sheet I can put
beside me? That makes it a lot easier. Or can I copy the work from my
neighbour. That way I am not looking up and down and losing my place.
I pretend. I am very good at it. If I look like I
understand, just check on me. I will often pretend so I do not look stupid,
but I am not learning either.
When we play games, please put me in a group that
have similar abilities as I have, so I can occasionally win.
Give me attention when I speak, even when I am
slow. Don't let others butt in. · If I take a long time to get out what I want
to say, please do not finish my sentences for me or guess what I am about to
say. I need to express myself in my own way.
Let me be me. I am different so encourage me to
celebrate this, not hide it (please help my classmates to do the same).
I have a poor memory. Please give me exercises to
help this. This could be done as a homework exercise which would be more
valuable to me than trying to do things I cannot understand. (Mum says she
left school years ago and should not still be doing homework).
I need more exercises to help me remember what you
have taught me than most. I could do these for homework also. Things tend to
pop out of my head when I sleep, so don't be surprised if I have forgotten
what you told me yesterday. Just remind me again: this will help me to
I will need more time from you, so please put me
near you where I can ask for help without attracting attention.
Celebrate my successes with me, no matter how
Rangeview Intermediate School