Day 2: Nov 21
I started off the day by welcoming the students into the classroom. After that, I led the class to the large sports field for their rugby lesson. As the class teacher and some of the educational assistants were in a meeting, I had to fulfil the role of looking after some of the student that require extra care. Given that there were eight people in my class, it was challenging but rewarding experience. Some students co-operated with the teacher and other classmates, while others refused to listen to any instructions or participate in activities. Therefore, I used verbal communication and physical demonstration to encourage those who did not want to participate. Simple words of encouragement such as “you are doing great!” or “good job!” make the students more active in terms of participating in the activity. On the other hand, some students had to set short term goals in order to stay motivated and listen to instructions. One student in particular, had to be constantly reminded that he has to actively participate in class in order to earn his “ipad time”. It was an eye-open to see that one method of encouragement may not work for everyone and ways of encouragement and motivation should be tailored to each student. Another challenge I have acquired today was “disciplining” the students. As my role for the week is to work as an educational assistant, I should be assertive and tell the students what is considered acceptable and what is not. This was quite challenging to me because it is still a fairly new task. However, I managed to overcome this by leading the students verbally and physically, showing them what they are expected to do. When they have completed the task, I would reward them with a high five or a word of compliment. After rugby lesson, I joined another education assistant to the sensory room, along with four students. During this session, I was able to interact with the students and guide activities, This was the most enjoyable part of the day as I felt I could interact with the students with a more casual environment, and I can engage with ball games.
Another task I worked on today was arts and crafts. I was required to cut out all the images of the staffs and students from the school (around 70 people in total), as my class teacher is planning to create a display board for the school. This task was time consuming and repetitive. However, through doing this mundane activity, I developed a newfound appreciation for the decorations I see around school. I have realised that someone have dedicated their time putting/creating the decorations, which may not be the most interesting stuff. Another task I did was creating stage prop for the Christmas Show. During this activity, I had to create a road sign that read “dai pai tong” and allowed me to develop my artistic skills.
When I was in the art room creating props, there were students from other classes that came in for art therapy. As a role of an observer, I was able to witness different types of students. The students were all very different and required different help. Sometimes, it was rather saddening to hear the teacher discuss the symptoms and back stories of the students. It was also an eye opener to see various therapy sessions. However, I am thankful for the positive environment that the staff and therapist created for myself and the students in the school
I have also engaged with the lunch duty today. Lunch duty is also rather interesting because unexpected events always happen. Some students will ask for help to heat their lunch and inevitable fights will happen around the lunch table. Through being on lunch duty, I was able to understand each student’s ability and personality a bit more, building a closer relationship between the students and I. This will be valuable in the next few days because I will need to continue communicating and interacting with them.
Author: Pak Lok Tsui