More importantly, the book showed me that it is possible that it was not only me to blame, and gave me a sense of hope that other students feeling this way now, can be helped more than I was. Rose looks at the foundations of such feelings, starting from the effects of labeling children: “The designation remedial has powerful implications in education – to be remedial is to be substandard, inadequate” (Rose, 1989, p. 209), and I recognized my own sense of myself, throughout school, in this.
When teachers publicly separated me from the rest of my classmates, with good intentions, I am sure, because of the learning difficulty I have, it was devastating. As a Third Grader, my need to belong to the group was great, and the challenges I experienced were not only with the learning difficulty, but equally significantly, with the teachers’ and other children’s perception that I was different. I internalized their view of me and became unconfident and negative about myself and my abilities.
At school, my classmates called me names, and I was no longer a “cool” friend. At home, my mother was supportive, but I could not get away from the feeling that I was disappointing her, because I could not so well at school. This isolation is another aspect of my life that I identified with in Rose’s book – a boy “Harold” writes: “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). While my situation was perhaps not as bad as Harold’s, I did see many of my classmates, struggling more than I did, even more isolated from the mainstream. Mike Rose realized that this boy was a lonely child, feeling rejected, and that it was these feelings, more than the boy’s learning challenges that caused him to not be able to perform well academically. This is