Aurora S., Dumont High School
Humans are not robots, thus humans are not perfect. Some students can breeze thru a test while others have to work hard to achieve the grade they want. The leadership of our society has pushed our youth to essentially be “perfect.” There is more emphasis on testing and less time on learning valuable concepts which can help us students in achieving our goals. An abundance of tests is not the answer for students to reach the next level. More focus on techniques will better prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs. There are numerous types of students, but the education system places them in two groups. Group one experiences the standard curriculum and groups two experiences the special education curriculum. When people hear that a child is in special education, they might think that the child has a mental disability. This is not always the case.
In 4th grade, I was diagnosed with a comprehension learning disability and speech disorder. I was placed into special education for language arts and mathematics. When I first found out about my learning disability, I didn’t know what it meant. I was shocked and concerned. My first thought was: “were my friends going to treat me differently?” I soon realized that my education is more important than any peer pressure. Once I realized that the special education program was going to help me, I cooperated. I began working with the teachers and we came up with a plan that would help me get back into the “regular” classes. The plan included study techniques and memorization skills. I was assigned goals every marking period and I achieved every single one of them. From day number one I set my mind on getting out of the special education program by the end of 8th grade. It was an ambitious goal that I had to work twice as hard for. The teachers gave me the special education placement test at the end of 8th grade. The test revealed I was ready to be taken out of the special education classes and placed into College Prep courses except for Mathematics which I was placed into Algebra I. I was so thrilled and proud of myself for this huge accomplishment, but I knew there were obstacles still in front of me. I will always have my comprehension learning disability and speech disorder, but now I have accepted it and I learned how to deal with it. I don’t allow my disabilities to stop me from reaching my goals. Since I’ve been taken out of the special education program, my academics have grown tremendously. In addition to my academics early in my junior year my guidance counselor recommended me to tutor 2 special education students in the Dumont School District. I have been tutoring them for the past year. With the assistance of my tutoring, their grades have improved by one letter grade in every subject. When I heard this I felt so proud of myself. Knowing what it is like being on the outside looking in, I can share my triumphs with hopes of finding their own.
I will continue to push myself to be the best I can be. This is easier said than done. Since I had to grow up, dealing with my comprehension learning disability and speech disorder, I feel as though I can give back to others struggling with these disabilities as well. Entering my freshman year of college, I would like to study under the Pre-Med track in hopes of helping others understand disabilities. I look back at being placed in special education and most people would consider this to be a setback and I now realize it might have been the best thing that could have ever of happened to me.