I’m pretty much an open book yet I don’t think I’ve ever actually discussed this. Growing up I was educated in the public school system of Newberry County. I attended Little Mountain Elementary, Mid-Carolina Middle and then Mid-Carolina High School. I must say I had a pretty good childhood.
But I struggled with learning how to learn.
Over the span of my time in middle school I was apart of program that helped kids with learning disabilities. In the morning I would check in. They would then make sure that my homework was complete and that I was prepared for the day ahead, quizzing me for spelling words, or prepping me for my pre-algebra quizzes.
You all get the gist.
Now what exactly gages how to determine if one has a learning disability? In my case it just so happened that it stemmed from having lower than average standardized test scores. In fact according to my standardized test scores I would NEVER graduate from high school let alone go to college.
And indeed that was told to my mother.
“YOUR SON WILL NEVER GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL WITH ALL HIS LEARNING DISABILITIES!”
This was simply not an option! I would graduate from high school. Then I would go on to college.
And that’s what I did.
I graduated from high school. I then graduated from the University of South Carolina. Oh and lets not forget I graduated with a 3.6 and on the Deans List.
My mom never gave up on my success. When I was in elementary school she’d come to my class before heading to work just to grade my test. She had several aunts and cousins to help tutor me over summer breaks. She even enlisted several teachers to help after school.
Why? Because her child would not end up some statistic based on a standardized test!
Cut to: August of last year. I’m at a funeral sitting in a small room with the family avoiding the larger crowds. We’re all trying to keep it together as much as possible and to distract ourselves.
My cousin and I begin chatting about her daughter. “My daughter has a lot of learning disabilities but you’d never know it just from talking to her.”
“Wait… Ok. I’m going to bank on the fact she doesn’t actually have a learning disability. She just learns differently. I am the same way. They told my mom I would never graduate from high school.” Holding up my hand showing off my college ring. “And guess what, they can suck on this beauty!”
We as adults must refuse to stand for standardize test or “for profit” companies determining what our standards for America’s education system. We also need to make arts a key curriculum as if it’s a Language Arts or Mathematics course.
Friends who do work in the education system please feel free to message me here or privately to tell me what I can do to help get the word out! This needs to be our top priority.
Closing I want to thank those who helped during those earlier days and most importantly thank my mom for never giving up. I guess I get my stubbornness from you.