Until recently, disabled children were “invisible”, since they were marginalized by our surroundings. I want to put them in the place where they belong through my activities, to help them to go through life with their heads high up, giving us all an example of how to face yourself and those who see us, teachers and students in schools for disabled children, as different.
Educating disabled children on one hand prepares them for many challenges in life, both professional and personal, and on the other enriches the teacher and the surroundings by encouraging them to see the world around themselves in a different, often simpler, way. I often ask myself how I would understand myself and all my simplicity without working in this school.
After my studies I started to learn again. It was an extra job to do. That days is was the only one Science teacher to teach disabled students. For the first time, I saw some behavioural problems that could only be seen in the movie. I was terrified with some activities that students did in the classroom.
However, working with disabled children does not allow standard methodology – on the contrary, seeking new techniques and approaches encourages me to expand my views constantly and to always be creative in all activities. As a mentor to young teachers I usually start lectures with: „Teaching disabled students is constant way of searching corridors in life! “
Basic rule, that I follow from the moment I meet my students for the first time, is not to start the lesson until all students are smiling and positive, because they are only ready to accept new knowledge and gain personal experience in such atmosphere. The second rule, not less important than the previous one, is that they leave the lesson certain that they have been at the right place in the right time and that they have done an excellent job! I think that I have made the most way that students like to learn. Most of disabilities my students are faced are not so big problem.
My science teaching requires a lot of hard work, renunciation and adjustment that can not be learned from the books during the studies, but interactively while working with children, especially in new circumstances that I have found myself recently. Inclusive education model implies including each child in education system that is very often rigid towards them. My teacher's training did not include preparation to work with disabled children for some situations, so I was faced to this difficult issue on my own. I had to solve the mystery of education for a child with Tourette syndrome and to find proper activities that would not make things worse. On the contrary I have experienced working to non-speaking students who had extra ordinary memory and capabilities for learning science. No one school did not allow him to enrol the science program caused of their fear that he could hurt himself. I took the risk and started. He did the amazing job while testing and showing the knowledge. I had to change all techniques and approaches in my teaching. He was the first student who had extra communicator. He used the mobile phone for making answers and questions. He was moderate disabled non speaking student but was my hero in my teaching career. He asked questions even when he had free time and holidays. I was totally down when heard the he died last year. It was the worst New Year I had in my life. The last lectures were done in the graveyard in front of his monument. In his honour I put his photo on the wall beside the great physicist like Steven Hocking. I will never forget his passion for learning and development.
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