Debbie Roeder's Learning Story


My educational experience took place in the 50/60/70s. There was no labeled ADD, ADHD, OCD, or documented autism. We were expected to sit still, pay attention and learn via notetaking and lectures. Learning styles hadn’t been recognized. Although I wasn’t ADHD, I still hated sitting still listening to the blah, blah, blah. I am left handed and that was frowned upon in the 50s and 60s, so many teachers tried to change me thus making me able to write with both hands. It took until my junior year in high school for a teacher to have a huge impact on my desire to learn. He was way ahead of his time in knowing what students needed in order to learn. He might have been first in his field for “hands-on” learning. He was a true kinesthetic teacher. He devised a way to figure out which students learned visually, auditorily and kinesthetically and then presented his lessons encompassing all of these styles of learning. We actually got to get up and move around in the classroom while discussing various topics. He also used “props” for us to engage in learning. It was a real awakening for me when I got to be involved in the learning process through touching and moving. I used these techniques, at home, when doing my homework for my other classes. Thankfully, today, more teachers use learning styles techniques in order to reach out to the way students learn.