The school system is not completely without hope. Just as I believe much of the problem in DET lies at a grass roots attitudinal level…
I also know the silver lining is found in the same place. NSW DET has some amazing teachers who simply ‘get it’ when it comes to teaching & including children with additional support needs.
Mac’s teacher for Term 2 and Term 3 is a recent grad, and, let’s face it… his class is not a ‘walk in the park’. Mac, with his multiple, severe, complex disabilities is not the only child with additional support requirements in their class of 23 children.
It is wonderful to see her embrace this challenge – a lesser mortal may have run a mile.
Miss A is a great teacher and this experience so early in her career will ensure she goes on to become a phenomenal teacher.
What I love most is seeing the development of the relationship with Mac and Miss A go from guarded uncertainty, to slight wariness, to reasonable comfort and finally, what is now a full on ‘gotcha’.
Miss A and Mac sent a text message to one of Mac’s aides the other day. The text went something like this…
“Dear R, I have just snuck over to Miss A’s desk to use her phone while she is busy with all the other kids. I just want to send you a very Maccy Moo Birthday Wish. Love Mac”
What I love about this wasn’t just hearing how excited ‘R’ was about receiving it.
I love Miss A understands that these moments do need to be facilitated, but that doesn’t make them fake.
It shows her recognition and respect for Mac by providing him a delightful one on one opportunity with her, his teacher. She said he loved doing it – he knew they were up to something tricky.
Often kids with Teachers Aide supports miss out on ‘one on one’ opportunities to interact with their teachers – Mac’s teachers have been excellent at ensuring this isn’t the case.
Oh, also… we know Miss A is ‘fully got’ because she has had the ‘Mac running & talking’ dream – that is more impressive than the ‘Mac walking’ so many others have had.
Now there’s an IEP goal if ever I saw one…