The children are very special

Friday was another day of teaching in Special Education.  It was a great day, with a class of 9-11 year olds which I taught a last week for a day.  This time it was just the Teacher Aide and me. 

At the end of the school day, we realised that we had not covered Father’s Day cards.  We did manage to fit in a session on different types of families, though, so I think that helped for the children with no fathers.

For my lunch supervision, J. from a different class remembered me and asked me to take him through the gym.  These students love their PE classes and often practice on the outdoors gym on the day of their lesson. 

Thursday night I saw the video about Jacob Barnett, who is at college at 14 years of age.  He started in Special Education and says his education stopped there, but he learned to think and create. 

I think it helps the image of any country immensely to have students like Jacob achieve so much from such humble beginnings.  Every country should really focus on helping these children as much as possible.  It will do wonders for the reputation of the Education system in any country that does.


T. and the accident

Today I was with a new class for supply teaching.  The lovely teacher aide, T., was out on playground duty when she hugged someone the wrong way or something and put her neck out.  It was quite painful and the other teachers had to bring ice and call the ambulance.

Poor B., the student who hugged her, was distraught.  He sat with the school chaplain and made a lovely picture for T., but was not consoled for long.  “Where is T.?” he demanded.  “How is she?”.

We had to combine two classes because T. was away for the afternoon.  Quite a few eventful things made the day interesting, like playing Duck, Duck, Goose and reading “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”.

I hope that T. will be OK soon.  She will probably be bruised for a few days and might be taking some time off.  One of the mothers was volunteering with the bigger students, so she might be called on to help out tomorrow.

It was just that morning the B. was telling me about Alex the lion in “Madagascar” and how he chased his friend, Marty.  He seemed in awe of Alex and Marty.  I hope it didn’t make him feel worse when poor T. had the accident.



Finalising the thesis

Yesterday I did some research in the area of education as an social structure and found some very interesting information.  Sociologists seem to have been arguing about this for a while, as if formal education has many roles, the least of which is to help students to think independently as contributors to the betterment of the human condition.

The effects of the virus that I have had for the last 2-3 weeks seems to be abating, and I am able to think more clearly about my writing, at last.  I had a blood test for my doctor to see how my rhubella and other immunity is going.  Apparently, there is an outbreak of measles in Melbourne at present.   Doing work experience in child care is helping me to build immunity.

I somehow think that education and health care are linked at the basic level of why they are funded by governments, so I will have to think on that and see if it is relevant to my thesis.



Sally, Marie and Sheree

Today I had some awesome helpers with a class of 8-11 year olds.  The room itself was packed to the rafters with activity boxes and all types of books and learning equipment.  It was the most comprehensively equipped room I have ever seen.

The children were very friendly and calm today, thanks to my three helpers.  Only Sally stayed to the end of the day, but they had worked their magic by that time.  We had a morning routine, some writing, play, a story and maths.  How excellent is that, to have a great maths program for children in Special Education!  I was very impressed.

I must say that I really like that school and hope that I have the opportunity to work there again soon.  I think I will have to include Special Education in my studies if I convert my Graduate Certificate in Education to a Master’s degree.


Rheumatoid Arthritis research

Yesterday I spent the day preparing a report and presentation on injury prevention in clients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  The topic is very interesting, as I had not realised that women in their first pregnancy are one of the main groups at risk of developing symptoms.

To my surprise, I found an Australian article, a website and the text book article to be very helpful.  What remains a mystery is the effect of all the medications on exercise response, although there are some general guidelines. 

I’m guessing that if you can’t grasp with your hands or flex your feet much, that limits a lot of the gym-based exercises that require equipment, dumb bells, bikes, treadmills and the like.  Thank goodness for water aerobics and swiss balls!

I also have another topic to sort out in the next couple of days and hope to fit that in with my work at a local Special School today.  I was at the school last week with some delightful children and their therapists.  Hopefully it will go well today.


Strawberry runners


This is what was in the strawberry bed this morning, when I picked some strawberries!  I have never seen how strawberries make runners before.  The little seeds on the outside have turned into leaf-like protuberances.  The head of the strawberry was burrowing into the loose straw and topsoil.  All around it are the little green flutter bits.

It is just so cute!

I went for a run in the morning with Max.  Nothing as dramatic as the strawberry runners, but lots of fun just the same.



Studying, wherefore art thou?

Day four of my adudlt reaction to minor childhood diseases, and I am now much more mentally alert and ablt to think of sorting out my reading and assignments for the next few weeks.

A friend sent a link to a radio interview that she recently broadcast, which starts at around 41 minutes.  It’s an interesting interview, but the journalists seemed a bit concerned about whether there was a clash of values that enabled Crystal to achieve what she has.  I had never thought of radio journalists as gate keepers of social value systems, but they clearly seem to be very aware of that side of their work.


I think in Australia it is teachers who act as gate keepers and journalists are more independent and risk-taking.  In any case, my friend seemed able to hold her own with the journalists and they did support her really well.