Rose finds out that Harold initially showed promise in his readiness to read and that his abilities later became more downplayed than his more promising characteristics. His lower functioning abilities, such as his reading level in the second grade and his social behavior, attitude, and level of maturity are highlighted in the files. The subsequent diagnostic workup and teacher observations due to Harold’s issues reveal the further concern on only the negative characteristics of this student.
Harold’s current teacher focuses on Harold’s immaturity, speech problems, and attention span in the workup, but later makes comments to the fact that Harold is becoming more verbal (making this seems as a negative, as the term was “quite verbal”) and that he enjoyed storytelling. It seems that this would be very significant in that when Harold is exerting his speech through vocalizing his storied and such and this would help his speech problems.
Other teachers made comments on his behavior that ranged from the extreme (to him needing medical and remedial education assistance) to issues that should have little effect on his education (such as being pale and making frequent restroom requests). B. Respond to this quote from the text: `The diagnosis revealed more about a teacher’s need to reduce the complexity of troubling behaviors than it did about the nature of Harold’s difficulty with written language. `
It seems clear by reviewing Harold’s dilemma and Rose’s reaction to it that the teachers who commented negatively about Harold seemed to be cold and unfeeling in their approaches to Harold’s issues and sought very hard to place blame on sources that emanated from Harold himself and not of any deficiency that might be present in the classroom or with the teachers, themselves. The teacher’s comments did seem to possess language that reflected back upon them as being the ultimate authority figures.
When they did not possess the understanding to properly comment on Harold’s learning and difficulties in social behaviors, they attempted to bring in other professionals to explain both Harold’s deficiencies and their own. C. How would you work with Harold in your 8th grade social studies classroom today? I would try to help Harold to utilize methods of learning that required more active participation. Harold seems to have a love for sports and fishing and knowing this, I would try to use these strengths to build on.
Since social studies require the mastery of maps and geography, I would ask Harold to draw maps of his route to the lake or to draw a football field with grids and numbers to represent the yard lines. He could learn that he can apply aspects of his life that are important to him in other ways, as well. Continually finding out Harold’s interests and using them to apply to social studies will not only help him academically, but socially too.
I would, also, try to help Harold by asking him to do group work with others in class to help his speech issues, so that he can learn to be comfortable with his manner of talking and with others in a small group setting. What strategies might you use to help him be a successful learner in your classroom? I would implement that strategies highlighted above to ensure that Harold does not become easily bored, restless, and discontented. I, too, would give praise and reward in the progress that he makes, as he has received little positive feedback in his school career.
I would, also, try to help Harold transition from junior high to high school by giving him advice on how much different the schools are, so he is prepared. I may try to obtain high school level material for his review, so that he does not become overwhelmed by his future, as he needs to stay positive throughout the remainder of his schooling. What would you do to build on his strengths while supporting his reading and reading and writing in the content area?
I would ask Harold to choose books that are relevant to both his life and the content area. With other methods listed above, Harold will prove that he can make connections with interests that he already possesses and can continue to expand on. His writing should center around summarizing his reading, initially until he can write more freely on other topics that he later expands upon.
References Rose, Mike. (1990). Lives on the Boundary. UK: Penguin. pp. 114-142.