Thursday, 30 June 2011
...or rather NOT in the case of J's teacher who does not belong the the union(s) which are taking action today. J is distinctly unimpressed by this as his class is one of just 3 which have to attend school.
Anyhow the strike and the publicity with regard to teachers has got me thinking about things. I am not a teacher and don't think I could be either, to hold a class of up to 30+ children in your care and keep them interested in whatever subject you are trying to share is a skill and talent.
So.... can you put a price on a good teacher? I don't think you can and J's teacher is the epitome of what I would call a "good" teacher. It's not just the knowledge she imparts but the way in which she does so. Teachers don't just coldly "teach" or at least J's teacher does not, In short she is lovely and J has thrived in her care this year.
Below I have listed just some of the ways in which J's teacher AND his Learning Support Assistant have helped J this year.
1. Going out of their way to welcome him into the Junior school and putting him at his ease.
2. Taking the time to get to know him really well in order to identify triggers for distress. These triggers are then minimised.
3. Learning how to use some software which enables J to write social stories using visual symbols. J then brings these stories home so that we can share them again.
4. Attending training to enable them to support J's ASD behaviours in the classroom and really get the best from him.
5. Not being afraid of moving away from the National Curriculum to help J (and other class children) at times. I am thinking here about how they supported J through the loss of Bramble our hamster. ALL the children had an opportunity to talk about loss and grief. J was then able to choose a flowering plant to put in the school garden. He was encouraged to write his pet's name on a large lolly stick which went in by the plant. Now he has a space in school to remember her.
6. By getting to know J and supporting him they have enabled my very insecure little boy to raise his reading age by 2.5 years over the last 9 months and to go from below national Curriculum level in Maths to achieving virtually on a par with his peers.
7. They have maintained regular contact with me and asked advice where needed about any of J's issues.
8. They have given J his self esteem back - how can you put a price on that? My little boy who always thought he couldn't "do it" when it came to academic work now has the confidence to know he CAN. This is wonderful to see in J and he is definitely easier in other areas as a result.
In short - I LOVE TEACHERS. They are unsung heroes in my book and this is why I support them today.
So thank you to all good teachers today, whether striking or not I think you are great.
Ditto to good schools where staff pull together as a team to support the children in their care.