At the end of his first week Mac managed a two hour
catnap ‘tiger’ nap on Friday afternoon while sitting on the lounge at home.
Week One is where classes are assigned and in Mac’s case new Learning Support Officers (aides). For us it was also a week of 40 deg C days with high humidity – so very hot, oppressive and extremely energy sapping.
So how is 2011 looking…
Mrs R was retained as Mac’s teacher. We are thrilled the school gave us the opportunity to have a year of consolidation for Mac by having a second year with the same teacher. With so much technology and modification needed for Mac to access the curriculum the chance for a teacher to start the year already knowing him and most of the technology is invaluable.
Mac has ended up in an “across stage” 2-3 composite class. Mac is in Year 2 so for him this has many advantages. I know some of the Year 3 parents are concerned about how a 2/3 class will work for their children but I hope their concerns are unfounded and all the kids in the class have a wonderful year. I think when you have a child with a disability you probably understand the concept of ‘differentiated instruction’ more easily. Many parents probably have never had to consider that this also happens for their own children – it just isn’t as obvious because the don’t sit down and do a formal IEP (individual education plan). And, while I am sure plenty of classes and teachers the world over do ‘teach to the middle’ and don’t differentiate their instruction to students… I am confident Mrs R isn’t one of those.
A need for new aide(s) to be trained up ASAP. To lose R as his aide is a ‘glitch’ but but we have a new team of aide support starting this week. Shawn and I were advised by the school the day before Mac returned they would be working on a replacement. Our advice was that while we don’t mind who they put in the role, we did want a commitment to training as a high priority so I don’t have to be “on call” all year.
Mac will have three (3) aides.
The decision has been made for three ladies to share the role. One will take Monday, another Tues/Wed and the third Thurs/Fri. The school has provided an hour every afternoon for the three aides, the teacher and myself to be off class for training and planning for the next fortnight.
So far I am enthusiastic about the team. Mrs R as we know is a great teacher and believes in Mac 100%. It is a great position for Mac to be in where, as a seven year old with significant disabilities, he is presumed competent by his teacher and any mishaps or misunderstandings the adults blame on their own inadequacies.
Talk about a ‘valued role’ and a respected individual.
Here’s to a great year… hope you enjoy the ride.