I discovered on Friday that I am doing a group of subjects called a “skill set” in Community Mental Health. In four weeks, that course should be finished and there are a few assignments to do in between time. The skills in working in a community mental health setting are relevant for Personal Fitness Training, teaching, career counselling and many other things.
Our lecturer is the Course Coordinator, who is very experienced and a very effective teacher. I have learned so much from her and the atmosphere of sharing and role play that we have in the classroom. Today I completed an online unit in suicide prevention from the Salvation Army website. There is another short techniques unit that complements it which I can use as well. I think that can be used for credit in my course.
I love to see all the courses and supports available through the internet in the community health and mental health areas. It is fantastic for teaching so that children have all the resources readily to hand when they need help, whether at school or at home.
Another area where there is a wealth of resources is the Early Childhood area. I have a disc and some papers to work through as well as a 100 hours placement for that course. During the week, I started to upload my documents to the internet so that I can find things when I need them.
My placement is for Year 1, so I need to find a school where I can do some supervised practicum. There is a lot of community involvement in Early Childhood Education and it is very much in demand as a skill at present in Australia, the UK and other places.
As I am Montessori trained, and a LOTE teacher of Italian, it will also be relevant in those areas. I love the idea that children have the option to go to a Montessori school and learn in a more exploratory and discovery-oriented way.
Holistic education is a great concept, although there is a limit to what can be covered in a school day. Perhaps we just do the same things all the time and give them different labels and ways of theorising about our actions? It must be more fun for teachers, though, because we are able to learn about areas in which we are interested to improve our practice in the classroom setting.
So I am looking forward to this kind of “bridging” program for me, with new things to study and the prospect of finishing up this Semester’s work in the coming couple of weeks. It is always good to have covered a new area of professional development and gained new insight into how to allow children to aim high in the educational setting.