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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Phelps, ADHD and teachers

Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps was diagnosed as ADHD as a child. His mom, Debbie, spoke this week about how swimming helped him to focus. There's this little item from Teacher Magazine this week:
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Deborah Phelps, middle school principal and mother of Michael, the most medaled Olympian in history, remembers how her son’s elementary school teacher once told her, “Your son will never be able to focus on anything.”
Good thing he had an elementary teacher willing to think so highly of his talents. What I find most interesting in the comments feed of this post are all the people saying how brave Debbie Phelps is for talking openly about Michael's ADHD. What they should be discussing is how the statement I've bolded makes them look like complete, insensitive cads. Nothing like making an uninformed sweeping judgment about a kid at such an early age to really boost their drive.

That is one MAJOR problem with teachers. They have the power to inspire, which I hope they use well, but they also have the power to kill a kid's spirit. 


Michelle O'Neil said...

If only there were a love test.

Sorry, not enough love in your heart, you can't work with kids.

Luckily, most teachers go into it for the right reasons. At least I hope so.

Wendy A. Hoke said...

I believe that. But one of the most eye-opening comments I ever heard emitted from an educator's mouth was questioning whether or not every child can learn.

If you have that doubt in your mind, you shouldn't be in education.