Front Of the class: How Tourette Syndrome made me the teacher I never had, allowed me to know about an actual child’s life growing up with Tourette’s. While reading the book I actually felt the emotions he was feeling all his life growing up. It is incredible to know all that a child can do regardless of what is happening with them. Brad the main character of the book proves that rather you have a disability or not, what matters is how you set your mind to want to do things and complete it.
In the book one of Brad’s friends from B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) said in a letter “I always refer to Brad as “me hero”, now I too can say that. Brad is an inspiration, all he has done and completed his life, all the people he influence and shared his knowledge about his disability. The courage he gained throughout the book gave me the same inspiration that gave Brad; I want to be a teacher that my future students could say they never had.
Brad was able to make speeches in the school and his class rooms; he educated people, was part of a fraternity, was secretary and president of clubs as well as traveled the world and started a Tourette Syndrome support group in Peoria. Perception When I hear about students with disabilities, my first thought is usually they have a harder time learning some material than others or they cannot do what most individuals do. However, after reading Front of the class: How Tourette syndrome made me the Teacher I Never Had I learned that my idea of students with disabilities is not what I had thought.
One thing I learned is that students with disabilities can do much more and conquer anything they want if they put their mind to it with a positive attitude. At the beginning of the book Brad is very selfconscious, nothing but negative thoughts and fears come to mind about himself, constantly asking himself what is wrong with him, why is he so different, is his parents’ split and moms stress his fault? By the middle of the book he knows what is Tourette’s he is not ashamed to have it, he finally has answers as to why he spontaneously makes sounds and random head ierks.
He then knowledge’s other people on his disability and by the time his bar mitzvah comes and makes a speech with minor distractions from his tics, he encounters courageous, later making a speech in front of his whole school on what is Tourette, what does it cause individuals to do leading to why he may act “strange” sometimes. After that opportunities opened, Brad later gets put into talk shows, works for his yearbook and is secretary of BBYO. When a child puts his mind as to what they want to complete for themselves they can. Another one of my perceptions that changed is a student with disability acceptance.
Brad in the book said that often he would get weird looks, he would get stared at often at the airport, some people were not informed about Tourette’s d also yet. He would only stare back to show them how it feels, other times in the airport he would inform whoever he is sitting next to them about his Tourette’s in case it would disrupt the flight. This informed me that students with disabilities want other to know, they want to be accepted they want to share to them about their disability and how it does not make them a pest or burden to be around.
Family. After reading the book, I became more educated on a families behavior towards a child with disability before and after they find how to take care and help support the child. Brad’s family at the beginning of the book found it very hard to build a relationship, at first they only thought Brad and his brother Jeff were high active kids, however Brad was juts more hyperactive and troublesome. When the mother finally discovered that there is a name for Brads behavior she felt a bit relieved.
She did everything as a mother to help him. The news about Brad’s behavior later got told to the rest of the family. Some took the news of Brad’s Tourette’s better than other. They were just astounded that his strange behavior had a name. His father found it hard to believe, he thought it might have still been Brad just wanting attention. Brad’s aunt and uncle would be embarrassed to go out with him to a restaurant or movie. His grandmother Dodo loves Brad and continued to treat him equally.
Diana Brad’s step mother was very accepting of Brad and his Tourette’s the father later on accommodated his attitude towards Brad instead of hitting him and scowl and him he later was very accepting, he changed his thinking about Tourette’s and about him. They later started heading the ris direction by the time Brad had graduated. His aunts and uncles as well started becoming very understanding and explained to his cousins Tourette’s syndrome, and why Brad would act the way he did. Families are all different some expect the “perfect child” because they feel that if their child is born with a disability society may judge.
However some families are very supportive and find resources to help their child. At the beginning it may be hard to find the necessities the child needs, a lot of accommodations may be needed in order to help the child understand what happens and they would also need to let other people know to become aware of any outbreaks or behavior. Families of students with disabilities are a strong support system, if the child receives a negative attitude from the family because of his or her disability then he or she will believe that they are a problem, a pest, it can put them down, and increase more stress and anxiety towards the child.
Future As a future teacher, just like Brad I want to be the teacher that many students do not have or encounter. There are many students who have disabilities, encounter personal problems and often need someone to listen to them. While reading Front of the Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me the Teacher || never had, it frustrated me and almost brought me to tears. Some teachers did not want to listen to Brad or make accommodations to his Tourette; they often thought he was just trying to be disruptive to everyone, making noise and jerking his neck.
Even after Brad had explained to the instructor what is Tourette syndrome and how he cannot help it, the teacher would still not be able to work around it, and she called him disruptive and asked him to leave the class to only disrupt another class. As a future teacher I believe that although we are tended to be prepared for anything there is still more information that other individuals like students can teach us. Once we obtain that information it is our choice rather we want to believe it and share it wither to educate and help more students.
When I have my own students in my classroom I want to be an example to all of them, if any student has a disability, emotional disturbance or even personal problem I would be glad to know, not just so I can adjust the curriculum to them, but in case I have a students with Tourette, I would know to be an example to the rest of the class to show them it is not funny it does not mean goof off and time to not focus on work.
That focuses on my next form in which the book changed my actions as a teacher, being a model, just like I said before if students see that you are working around a disruptive noise or anything happening non relevant to the classwork they would follow and continue to focus on the classwork. Role models are made when you show students the passive way of handling things and soon then they will follow, that what Brad always wanted and that is what inspired him to be a teacher, after one teacher embarrassed him making him get up in the class to apologize for something he cannot handle.
This leads to my last action that would change as a teacher; I would not embarrass my student. Embarrassing Brad was the absolute thing I hated the most when reading the book, how Brad would go home crying after a teacher or any individual like a waiter or student made him feel. As a future instructor I never want to make my student feel bad about them rather it involves their disability or having a ough time learning the curriculum. I want my students to maintain a positive attitude and that all answers can be right. I would never put one of my students in front of the class or to do something ridiculous as so to be sorry for something they cannot handle. Unless he or she is going to educate the class on why he cannot handle his Tourette’s or disability and he is going to acknowledge us with his or her disability.