These ‘kinds’ of students I love and can relate to. Because I am one of them.
At the moment, I have tidied my desk and one staff member jokingly said, we should have sweepstakes to see how long that lasts. My staff know me well. My modelling books are a highlight and I am always the first to share them. I often look back and think, oh my goodness how did I let that page slip through with my learners? But what I do is effective, because I would never judge my learners on what I see immediately but what I see over time and with evidence. I also say, ‘If my handwriting, spelling and desk looked ‘normal’ then I would not be doing what I do.’ Those of you who know me, know exactly what I mean. I am creative and inventive. I can problem solve most technical problems both hardware and software. I can bring a group of learners to work together and I get results.
Technology was invented for a learner like me. Suddenly spelling, and handwriting are no longer as important and modern learning environments have taken away desks for creating nests. So I am almost normal. But I like being different and I embrace being different.
I am the teacher who loves wiggle woggle chairs, and reminds children to tidy their desks, when I tidy mine. Tidying desks would be a class activity or someone ends up doing it out of total eyesore. I am an early technology adopter and was the child who took apart the family radio, stereo, iron and computers to see how they work. And I still like to do this.
I often say, I am not the one with the problem with my untidy desk or my spelling. Yes I can be judged on what can be seen, often an untidy desk, but I can close the door and receive visitors elsewhere. Who do they often come to see but some one like me? I go to my editor to proof read any writing that will be published or could be read by our school community.
The point of all this, embrace your challenging learners. One day they will grow up and surprise you. They might even be the ones employing learners who are different.