Imagine being a child who comes in with certain knowledge lacking. Perhaps they have moved many times. Perhaps they have a learning disability. Perhaps they just hate reading. Or perhaps they can’t help what they don’t know. We test and discover the holes, we meet and discuss the gaps, we then plan and set up all of the things we now shall do to the child. Often without ever asking them or wondering how they will feel when they get pulled out. We teach them strategies, we fill their brains with more methods, more knowledge, more understanding, hoping to find the one that makes it all make sense. They lose class time but we know we have to sacrifice something. They lose reading time because they are in the group we meet with as much as possible. We hover and constantly ask, “Does it make sense?” All in the hope to help them.
I don’t mean to suggest we shouldn’t intervene but perhaps we should ask them how they feel about all of the things we do to them. How do they feel about their labels that we are not supposed to have put on them? How do they feel about the pull out? The extra attention? The extra people that they get to work with? Most kids just go along, but perhaps we should ask them. Perhaps they need a break t ojust be a kid, like all the other kids in the classroom, and perhaps they just need some time.