Special Educational Needs Reflection
For me, this SEN placement was very rewarding. I got to teach in a place that is dear to me personally and I got to see how the students and staff work together on a day to day basis. The same routines every day, the smiles on everyone’s faces, it was a lovely place to be and the staff who work there are unbelievable. The students complained about school like every other child in the country, but they embraced the familiar faces who cared for their needs like friends. I could see the job satisfaction that the staff had from working there and how rewarding it was to them. I could see the sadness that was still there after the loss of a student in recent times, like losing a family member. The CRC is one big family.
This SEN placement has definitely taught me to be more observant in and out of the classroom and to be more mindful of differently abled people. I think the general reaction to people with special needs or abilities is to talk to them differently or treat them differently. In my time in the class, I was able to tell by slight facial reactions and blinking, if a student was understanding me. I learned a few signs so that I could say hello every morning to a student who was deaf. The students are aware and alert, although they are slower in communicating, they’re taking in information and processing it and they will answer you, but you have to be patient. Inclusion was the key to a good classroom, no student was left behind or ignored. The teacher asked everyone questions and gave everyone a job to do, even if it was just naming what day and date it is.
I learned that the classroom is a dynamic environment, it is important having a core lesson plan but being open to adaptation depending on the situations that arise. Some students can be way ahead of others, while some students need extra special attention. Once the core learning is established, it is important to constantly ask questions, to get them thinking of why they are doing what they are doing and if they might or can do it differently.