Hi, need to submit a 2000 words paper on the topic English: Critical Reflection. Mike Rose points out also that there are many different ways to tackle these issues and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to think about these things in a new way and apply them to my own life experiences. One of the things that caused me a lot of pain was the way that teachers and other people used negative labels to refer to students who were not achieving the best grades. Mike Rose explains, for example, how harmful words like “remedial” can be, because of the bad connotations that they have: “The designation remedial has powerful implications in education – to be remedial is to be substandard, inadequate” (Rose, 1989, p. 209). This is linked to mental defectiveness, and there is an implication that some sort of harsh treatment is needed to correct whatever it is that is wrong with the person. I can recall very clearly the day when I was called out of my class, in third grade, and taken to the principal’s office. The way this was done made me look like a student who had done something terribly wrong, and had to be called in to see the principal and to receive some kind of punishment. My name was called out over the loudspeaker, and so everybody knew that something was up. At the time I was too scared to realize what was happening and I just listened quietly to the news that I had a learning disability, but now that I am older, I can see that this initial process was both cruel and damaging to me. The learning difficulty was itself a big problem for me, but the stigma and feeling of failure that came along with it was even more of an issue, because it took away my confidence and gave me a negative image of myself. I think my mother was disappointed in me because she always wanted her son to be successful in school, and she tried to encourage me and tell me not to worry. I know that she loved me just the same, regardless of my school performance, but still I felt inadequate because I did not think I could live up to her hopes. The worst reaction came from my own classmates. Boys can be very cruel to each other and at first I tried to hide what was happening. The negative names that they called me like “dumb” and “stupid” were extremely hurtful and I learned a very important lesson at this stage in my young life: some people who call themselves friends are actually not friends at all. They turn their back on you when you do not fit their image of a cool friend. It became obvious to me that I would not be able to hang out with the same group as before, because they rejected me. When I read about the boy Harold in the book, it reminded me of what it felt like to be so lonely. The boy Harold wrote some creative writing in his English class, which expressed his isolation: “I am lost in the woods. I cannot find my way out. I yell and yell. No one answered me. I climbed a tree then I fell out of the tree and broke my arm.” (Rose 1989, p. 119). Some teachers would read this as just a story but Mike Rose understood the deeper meaning that was in Harold’s story: he needed someone to take time with him, and listen to his fears. He needed friends, and he was very afraid of what might happen to him.
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