Confessions of an X-Men TeacherJun 12, 2020
Ok so I admit it, I am an X-Men teacher and a teacher of X- Men.
For those of you who do not know what an X-Men is, we are different. We are OCD ADD ADHD and Autistic and just about everything in between. We receive information and perceive the world, in a different way, and most often we make ourselves wrong, or are made wrong, for it.
I have always known that I teach in a very different way. No one is left behind, has always been my motto. In this, I am required to look at the way that each child learns and to be able to enter into and be aware of their worlds and what is in their heads.
This is an X-Men capacity.
In the education system, we often see the labels of ADD, OCD, ADHD and these can serve a purpose in providing services to kids that normally they would not have access to. For example, more time to write tests, modified programs, quiet spaces, and computers. On the flip side, I am also aware that for an X-Men when they are labeled, they often chose to become that label and to make themselves wrong for that.
In Access Consciousness we acknowledge that beyond those labels there are talents, abilities and capacities that are often either unacknowledged, or made wrong. Is it not the ADHD that allows me to be the dynamic teacher that I am? Is it not a capacity to be present if every corner of the classroom, to have “eyes in the back of my head?” To know that one student had a bad night at home, that one was worried about an upcoming test, that one was judging that he could not produce the sound out of his instrument, that he knew if was capable of? To be aware of all this and more in a split second of time. To let the kids move when they need to move. This is an X-Men capacity?
An X-Men is aware of so much more than most. They perceive the world in a very different way and their awareness expands for miles in every direction. What they perceive, the stress, the anxiety of another’s world, they can make their own, in order to understand it. This can be overwhelming at times. It can lead to self-harming behavior to escape the intensity of awareness’s and the violence of not being understood or able to communicate.
The greatest gift that I give my students as an X-Men teacher is my willingness to be the space of no judgement, to show them a different possibility in music and in life. What if nothing is wrong I often say to them? I am greeted by hugs in the playground. They are my teachers, they are the future, and they are my X-Men.
How did I get so lucky?
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