What does your job involve?
I manage a class of 6 or 7 non-verbal students. We start the day with Breakfast Club. It’s a chance for the students to practice their own life skills making their own tea or coffee and getting themselves a snack. But as important is the opportunity for a relaxed chat about the day ahead, providing the reassurance that students may need if they are anxious.
Next we have registration and everyone gets out their diaries for the day, the morning will then be spent covering mindfulness and communications. The students practice their Makaton signs by creating shopping lists for the cookery lessons or writing letters about what they’ve been doing and have enjoyed most. We may also make videos using the IT board.
The afternoon is usually spent offsite in the community with OT colleagues engaging in activities like shopping, practicing using public transport, rebound, pedal power or swimming. Or on students may be on work experience, helping with the student newspaper or working in the College’s own student office or coffee shop. Fridays always include storytime and sensory sessions which makes for a great end to the week.
Why did you join Beechwood College?
Before I joined Beechwood College I had been teaching students with similar needs but in a younger age group.
Working with older students had challenged me as it’s not just traditional learning topics it also about helping the students develop life skills; it’s a more purposeful curriculum
What’s the best part of your job?
Watching the little progress steps my students make every day, and how they build into bigger steps which eventually allow them to cope better in their day-to-day lives.