"Buddy Alert Guide (BAG) System" (Effectively Teaches Mixed Groups of Learning Disabled Students)

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Richard Errera, world renown inventor, having several patents (see GourmetImpressions.com) has done it again! He certainly thinks out of the box and this time as an esteemed, innovative educator, has created and developed a revolutionary unique system for effectively teaching mixed groups of learning disabled students. Nick named, the "Buddy Alert Guide (BAG) System" is a concept. not a product to purchase, and can help many teachers reach some of the most challenged in need.

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Richard Errera, world renown inventor, having several patents (see GourmetImpressions.com) has done it again! He certainly thinks out of the box and this time as an esteemed, innovative educator, he has created and developed a revolutionary unique system which effectively teaches mixed groups of learning disabled students. It is called the "Buddy Alert Guide (BAG) System." The international education community is excited to have one more tool in its' arsenal to help teachers reach some of the most challenged in need, especially since this concept costs nothing to buy or use.

Richard Errera has a class this term consisting of an enormous population of students with officially diagnosed, categorized and yet to be recognized as such, host of special education labeling needs. These range from Asperger Syndrome, ADHD, Language Development Disabilities, ESOL challenges, and those socially acting out aggressively, impulsively, or exhibiting other inappropriate behavior with their peers. The task of teaching so many with such a diverse range of needs on a continuous basis can and does become overwhelming. There is however, a pedagogic solution shown to be quite helpful and successful almost immediately. It is nick named the "Buddy Alert Guide (BAG) System".

The common denominators of these children in the classroom are: inability to focus, begin or stay on task, being disorganized, a bit awkward, inattentive and generally appear to be in a dazed, non-alert state throughout the day. Their eyes are open. Their bodies may be still, yet they seem to be in a distant gaze, light years away from the reality or activity at hand. Their eyes are adrift, as if being alone on an anchored boat, just starring motionless at a calm surrounding sea, having neutral facial expressions; devoid of emotions. Then, often their sleepy eyes begin to close. Heads are propped up by a resting arm, but slowly they tire forward, onto folded arms on their desk. The student has a hard time keeping awake, no less being able to focus attentively or actively on the teacher, lessons, or tasks.

The typical (temporary and short lived) teacher solution for getting this student's attention and focus is to startle and scare the child by raising a firm, loud voice in reprimand having a stern look or worse, screaming forcefully down at the child. This constant barraging action negatively affects the teacher's well being and health. Likewise it has the same negative effect on the child, possibly adding to induce life long self esteem issues. It certainly is not a motivator to encourage, entice, enhance, or perpetuate the child's desire to do better or learn more. This child no doubt feels emotionally battered, abused, unworthy, depressed, and unloved. The development and manifestation of even greater, more serious problems and issues might then arise producing new, lifelong detrimental affectations.

The ongoing issues exasperating his current class large register of 26, is that the school has no extra funds for supplemental assistance. For example, "pull outs" (having small group or individual instruction), or a badly needed teacher assistant, both which might help to ameliorate the ongoing task of teaching, class management, transitioning from subject to subject or from place to place does not exist.

Consequently, student academic progress stagnates or at best is very slow, not keeping up with the expected "norm". This is true for those students having special educational needs, as well as the others being prevented from adequate advancement by the continuous classroom distractions and disruptions by those students requiring the teacher's full and undivided attention throughout the day. Effective and efficient teaching, guidance, and learning is thus thwarted on actual subject lessons. In addition, it is an obstructive obstacle, preventing individual student focused concentration and attention to begin, continue and end tasks at hand.

Moreover, the strain upon the teacher on a six hours work day, fives times a week, becomes physically and emotionally draining, frustrating, often appearing to be helpless and hopeless. It's no wonder that the rate of many new teachers starting out with idealistically good intent and desire, and many even wanting to continue, quit the profession within a short period of time, disgruntled and disgusted. The cycle repeats itself year after year, in school after school. There is now hope for all. I have developed a proven pedagogic strategy that I believe will work for other educators having similar situations.

The "Buddy Alert Guide (BAG) System", Errera says has helped tremendously. Having identified ten students with the above, aforementioned common denominator symptoms. he assigned the most responsible and alert students yo sit next to each, as a guide to "alert" when called upon. They are called "Buddy Alert Guides" (BAG) whom have been instructed (for extra credit) to help guide their "Buddy" at times of need. Realizing that their "Buddy" often needs a reminder to sit up, and be alert to follow the teacher's directions or lessons, they will do two things when signaled.

When the teacher says, "BAG" (for short), the Buddy Alert Guides glance to see where their Buddy's eyes and hands are. They will gently tap their Buddy to wake him/her out of an apparent daze when necessary, and will then point in the direction of the teacher to indicate attention and focus is needed. There is no embarrassments, and minimal if any, class disruptions. This innovative and unique system Errera says, "Works brilliantly and effectively! "

The "Buddy Alert Guides" feel a sense of importance helping a fellow classmate in need, thus encouraging deeper friendships. On the other hand, their Buddy usually instantaneously smiles feeling cared for, opens eyes wider, and feels good with renewed interest and focused attention to see what is going on in class. We are all on the same page.

Teaching, learning, and receptivity are much smoother and rewarding for all.
It is a win-win-win situation!

(Richard Errera welcomes feedback at rerrera @ somersetmiramar.com)

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Richard Errera

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