Tuesday, November 24, 2009

F.A.T. City Revisited


“It’s the leading selling educational video in the world.” was the claim author Rick Lavoie made during his recent talk at Mary McDowell Center for Learning, a K-8 (soon to be K-12) school in Brooklyn, NY with a mission of working with students who have learning disabilities.  The video F.A.T. City (Frustration Anxiety Tension) never fails to inspire its viewers to become sensitized to the challenges LD students experience. Here is a clip from the video where Lavoie talks about the difficulties the LD child has distinguishing among the letters d, b, q, and p.

Lavoie presented his F.A.T City workshop for ten years before he made it into a video in 1988.  The many stories he told that evening at MMCL were entertaining and gave cogent insights into the lives of LD students.  Here were several quotes that inspired me to take pen to paper while listening:

“Positive feedback changes behavior.  Negative feedback only stops behavior.”
“The middle school child is managed by the moment.”
“Adolescent prayer: Dear God, don’t let me be humiliated today.”
“Children go to school for a living.  To prove my point, when you see a kid on the street, what do you always ask her/him? . . .  How’s school?”

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