Imagine you are a teacher or parent walking down a long road, hand-in-hand, and guiding a child toward a destination called School Success. Helping the child reach this goal is important as his future success depends on it. You don’t have a map and there are no signs along the road. Although you successfully took this same journey yourself, you have some doubt about your ability to guide the child. His heavy backpack, which makes him stoop and walk slowly, is filled with academic barriers. Despite the burden of his backpack, the child begins the journey with excitement and a resolution to succeed.
On some days, your journey is productive. Destination School Success appears closer and you hope your good luck lasts. On most days, though, it appears farther away. You praise the child for trying hard and tell him, that if he continues to try harder, he will make it. Eager to please, the child keeps walking with his heavy backpack.
Over time, you sense that you’re traveling in circles. The child, who has yet to see any pay-off for his sustained effort, starts to think something is wrong with him. He begins to grow sad and weary and eventually loses hope. So do you.
This is a journey without a map — a journey left too much to chance.
Now, imagine this journey with a map. You and the child begin the journey fully aware of his barriers. You know which parts of it will be easy and which parts will be hard. The map shows you the best roads to travel, how to sidestep impassable roadblocks and how to prepare the child to tackle other obstacles head-on.
The journey is arduous. Other children making the same journey pass you. Their backpacks are light and, with seemingly little effort, they travel long distances. You and the child, however, often take two steps forward and one step back. At times you think of how unfair it all is.
You both keep traveling for one reason: the map is working — the child is getting closer to his destination.
In the next blog, we examine one of the map’s most important tools: helping the child build resilience so he can withstand the hardships of the journey and, in doing so, become stronger.
Manus Academy specializes in working with students, from grades three through twelve, with learning barriers. Our methods and materials are based on decades of educational research that tell us how to maximize student learning. These methods have been further subjected to rigorous in-house testing and are continuously improved and updated. The result is a strong educational program where every student shows progress. To learn more, ask questions or schedule a visit, call us at 704-542-6471 or use the contact form on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.