I was with a client (virtually!) the other day and she was working through math. She did not want to use our touch math strategy as she said she only had to use it because "she was dumb". I have heard students call themselves names in the past, but this one was different. She looked defeated. This had me thinking about how we can change the stigma of using strategies. I asked her to consider people who wear glasses, who use a cane, who need medication, etc. She said these people needed them to be able to function in society and live life. My challenge to her was people who wear glasses can see, albeit the image is blurry, but they use glasses to make the picture clearer.
The strategies we ask our students to use make the picture clearer. Sure, this student and many others can do math, but in my experience, it takes longer, and there is more frustration. Many of our clients can read a book, but by highlighting and using book report strategies to identify the main idea/details abut each chapter, allows them to really understand what they read. In society I think we sometimes get so caught up in how we do things differently and see this as a negative when in reality it is what makes us all unique.
Let's all encourage our students to find what strategies make their lives easier and show them the benefit of using them. We also need to help stop the stigma of using strategies others do not use. We are not telling our students they cannot do something, we are showing them that they have options for making it easier.