Sunday, November 24, 2013

Attitude vs. Ability

In the land of ESE there are many possibilities. Some students posses great ability while other are lacking. Over the years I have found that the one thing that makes the biggest impact on a student's ability is their attitude. If I had to choose between a student that is low, but has an outstanding attitude and a student that is high and has horrible attitude; I would pick the low student without a doubt! 
This year I have a class that has two students that fit into the category above. One is very optimistic, you know the type butterflies and sunshine every single day, while the other will fall apart and venture into the land of despair if someone looks at them wrong. I love them both, but they could not be more night and day.  There really should be some sort of color code in ESE to categorize certain students. 

The odd thing is that ability and attitude is really determined by the person themself; outsiders may try to influence it, but at the end of the day it's up to them. You can change your ability level if your are dedicated as well as your attitude if you shift your perspective. Sure having a disability can be a burden at times, but having a poor attitude only makes it worse. 

I know this first hand because in upper elementary school my outlook on my disability was pretty sour. My dad would give me pep talks regarding my attitude toward school and my stubbornness did not want to listen. One day he gave me a pad of paper that had the quote above on it. The pad sat on my desk and while I was completing hour three of homework nightly I would occasionally glance at the quote. Eventually,  my attitude melted away and I was able to embrace my disability as well as transform my attitude.  

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