Friday, September 17, 2010

Teaching?

I am currently employed as a counselor for teenagers in a children's crisis hospital. I deal daily with teenagers with various conditions such as autism, pychotic tendencies, suicidal ideation, self-injurious behaviors, violent acting out, mental retardation, past sexual or physical abuse, post traumatic stress disorder and a host of others. It is a very fulfilling vocation, but one that can also be very stressful and even sometimes dangerous.

I am back in school, however, and am currently working on my teaching credential which will allow me to be licensed to teach K-8th grade. It's an interdisciplinary degree program, which will qualify me to teach all subjects to primary-school-aged children.

I may a post just recently about masking my stutter using various tricks I have learned over the years. They allow me to successful counsel with the teenagers at work with little or no evidence at all that I stutter. They don't always work and, in fact, one teenager called me out for stuttering during a group session I was conducting just two days ago. I announced to the group that, yes, I did just stutter and that I have a persistent developmental stutter that I deal with on a daily basis. Most of them were surprised to hear me say that and expressed that I do not appear to stutter. Well, yeah. That's the point.

As an aspiring teacher, how successful do you think I would be landing a job as a primary school teacher if, during the interview, I found myself unable to say 3-5 words in a row without stuttering? What school would hire someone with that kind of speaking disability? How effective of a teacher would one be if he or she was unable to speak fluently to a class of 20-25 small children? I don't have the answers to these questions...I am just thinking them aloud and am considering their existence, since it's something I would likely have to deal with if I did not employ my fluency "tricks".

Do I think that schools should discriminate against those who stammer? Of course, not. But, does that mean that they won't do so anyway? Again, of course, not. For more information about my position on this matter, please read the last entry. And, as usual, your comments are very welcome!

13 comments:

daniel john said...

In education, teachers facilitate student learning, often in a school or academy or perhaps in another environment such as outdoors. A teacher who teaches on an individual basis may be described as a tutor.


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Kelly said...

I am a stutterer (actually more of a blocker) and am also a recently licensed elementary school teacher. I am not teaching presently due to the lack of teaching jobs in my state, but did teach summer school this past summer. While my blocking tends to lessen when I am speaking in front of children, reading books aloud to them often causes my speech to act up and there have been many times when I have to "brush off" my blocking to the students. It is very frustrating, and I'm sure no matter what job you have as a stutterer, it interferes because communication is usually a huge part of any job.

However, as any good teacher would agree, teachers main concern should be the students' best interest. Although I do struggle with blocking from time to time, and varying from mild to worse, if I was unable to speak words fluently together more times than I was able to, I do think that might interfere with students learning, especially elementary school kids. I have had my "good days" when I think I've explained my directions perfectly; smoothly, fluently, and slowly, yet the kids still didn't understand. I am certainly not against teachers who stutter/block, as I am one myself and would like to think I am a good one, we can't think about what's "fair" to us if it's not "fair" to the students.

Kelly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dame Edith Divine said...

Congratulation on winning the 2010 Stuttering Blog award! You mention in this blog that you are involved with teens and that reminded me that I once lived at the San Diego Children's Home. That was more than 50 years ago, I'm sure much has changed since then.

Stuttering Stanley said...

Thank you, Dame! Glad to see you here! :)

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RIAZ UDDIN said...

Excellent Blog Post! How to be a Primary Teacher and what is it like to be a primary school teacher in the 21st century? Well, it’s possibly very different to what you remember from school and definitely one of the few jobs in the United Kingdom that allows you to make a difference, and make the world a better place, every single working day.

ann mosley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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