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It's a Good Day When

Ben is an Australian trained SEN teacher and is a teacher of the deaf. In his debut blog he tells us a little bit about what he does and what his day is like. 

As this is my first blog I thought it would be good to introduce myself. My name is Ben and I am a Teacher of the Deaf from Australia I have been working in Education for 4 years (that sounds more AAish than I intended). I arrived in the UK at the start of January… and I am loving every single second of it!

Working in Special Education (hell working in Education!) is challenging, rewarding, emotional and fun. When I tell people that I am a Special Education teacher I normally get responses of “Oh you must be so patient and understanding…”  or “… you must have some terrible days..” and truthfully I have not developed a response to these statements (I mean every single teacher no matter what age group, requires patience and understanding, and we all have days we would rather forget!) 

After talking to some of my colleagues, we were trying to determine what consists of a “good” day. We have all had more than one of “those” days. Where we feel like we have achieved nothing, the kids ran riot, or we were hopping from behaviour to behaviour all day. Although we all have different thoughts some that we agreed on were:

It is a good day when…

1. I don’t need to use that spare set of clothes I have in my bag!

Let’s be honest, every single day we have no idea what type or amount of bodily fluid we will be avoiding, as it goes flying through the air. Although my reflexes have improved and I am now able to duck with plenty of time when something comes flying my way, at the start of teaching career I was not so lucky! It is no fun trying to catch the bus home, no amount of Glen20 can cover that smell sadly!

2. I actually got to eat lunch!

Most days when I was working in my own classroom, having a lunch break which didn’t involve me having to leave the classroom/ staffroom to deal with behaviours (biting, fighting or deciding to moon the teacher on playground duty) in the playground were few and far between. So it is always a nice bonus to sit and actually have 15 minutes.

3. A student meets an IEP goal!

I still remember the first time I had a child meet one of their IEP goals. We had been working on the initial /f/ sound for months and we were slowing improving. Then one day out of the blue I was told in no uncertain terms to go away. I was so happy that a) we had produced the sound spontaneously and b) it was used correctly in context! Double win! However it took a few more months to try and get the same sound in other more socially appropriate word like fish.

4. The children retain what I taught them yesterday!

Every teacher has had the experience of preparing a fantastic and engaging lesson one day, children participating, learning and you think “Yes! They have got it!” and the next day… it is like you are introducing a magical concept known as multiplication. It is a fantastic feeling for all parties when you can actually use the plan you created at midnight the night before, after you had finally finished all the paperwork from the previous day!

5. You and the children go home smiling.

The biggest indicator for any teacher that you have had a good day is the kids are leaving the room smiling. Working in Special Education has taught me a fantastic lesson as a person, the children I teach will not remember what I taught them in the years to come but they will remember how I made them feel. If I have made the school environment an engaging, safe and fun place to be… it doesn’t matter what they remember of the alphabet or their times tables. There is always tomorrow.

Did you like Ben's blog? Would you like to send him your thoughts? Email Megan at mparsons@protocol-education.com

Related blogs on SEN:


Tags: BenC, LondonSEN, Australian-trained, supply, SEN, teacher, experiences, day, targets, goals, important

Category: Australian Teachers


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