I’ll talk to you about what you need to learn…

“Johnny will do 75% as much drill as the other students.  Teacher will select which problems will be deleted to assure that remaining problems cover material taught and will show content mastery.”  Sometimes when we are in an IEP meeting and we propose something rather unique for a student, teachers protest about “fairness to other students,” and “How can I defend that to the others?”  Here’s what I advise them to tell these other students.  Tell nothing unless asked directly.  Then respond:

“If you want to talk to me about what you need to learn, I’ll make an appointment to talk with you privately.  But I will not discuss anything about anyone else’s learning or anyone else’s homework being more or less or any difference in due dates because it is private.  Do you want an appointment?”

Students will push for concessions because it is their job to find the limits on everything, and because they are in a hurry to get back to their video games, they don’t want to do the whole assignment if they can get out of it.  So we then say, “If you want to get the best grade in class, I can give you some extra credit work to do…”  That’s usually the end of discussion for that moment, and about 3 repetitions of those lines ends ALL discussion.  Word will get around to others who might want to push the limits that the “class representative” got shot down or something to that effect, and Johnny’s differences will become the status quo.

You can tell Johnny that pigs actually learn faster than dogs, so being the fastest learner may not be all it’s cracked up to be.


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