Shadowing Someone Episode 1: “Make all of your worries seem Pathetic”

My First week of field experience in Jean Vanier was something that I was not expecting.  Jean Vanier is a school for students with special needs-meaning these having serious disabilities such as Down syndrome, inability to walk, psychotic abilities and autism. The school does not follow a regular high school, pre-school, elementary, and middle years. Instead, they accept students from ages 3 to 21, where a student is assigned in a specific room corresponding to their age and difficulty of care. Furthermore, the teacher lounge has pictures of every student with a list of possible seizures and protocols in case of seizures. I came in to Vanier (on time of course) and looked for the Arkin Kauf, my supervisor. He debrief me about Vanier and I found that he didn’t wanted a job like this in Vanier but, aspires to be a elementary school teacher. I guess we really have no control of our lives. Then, I was introduced on the rest of the staff and the principal as well. They told me that this endeavour would be different compared to interning to other school divisions. Vanier is a Catholic school with a strong roster of Catholic teachers, and incorporates with faith based activities like praying, singing, and more. The then introduced me to the students. I have never seen something like it before. Most them can’t speak and walk. Furthermore there level of cognitively is very low which limiting their functions to just showing up in class. I started to think and I was like – seeing these kids “make all your worries seem pathetic”. because these kids will roam this planet for the rest of their lives as unable and illiterate. I think this was strong sign for me to broaden my horizon and explore the “other side of the coin” or special education. The first week was purely introduction to everything so there was not a lot activity to do because the supervisor is doing preparation that day for his classes, and I was limited to basic helping such as feeding the kids who are unable to use their hands and cleaning the children’s messes. The physical and human context in which the school operates is Faith. Vanier is a Catholic and draws most of its sources from faith-based materials like the Bible, liturgies’ of the church, and the sacraments of the Catholic Church. 

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Posted on December 2, 2011, in Daily Dose, Shadowing Someone and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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