There’s a whole lot of things that you aren’t told about before you decide to move into special.
Having been back in an SLD/PMLD school for just about three weeks now, here are the things that remind me how different it is to being in MLD.
We sing on a daily basis. Be it the school song, counting songs in maths, awareness songs in phse, along with the music cues for the start of each lesson or even – as happened today for some strange reason – the whole class staff singing the theme tune to ‘The Wombles’
Every week, without fail, you battle to support your class to change into their swimming kit, have a splash in the pool, shower as independently as possible and then change back (getting damp pupils into uniform isn’t fun) in the space of an hour, while trying to have meaningful time with each of them. There are never enough pairs of hands!
3) Master of everything
Way back when I first moved to special teaching, I voiced concerns that I didn’t know how to teach PE or cooking…My class, however, are my class and I teach them everything. The headteacher I was talking too replied ‘You know more than your class’! I’m still not convinced at certain points, I’m sure they are better than me on iPads.
4) Going out
It is expected, timetabled in fact, that you take your class into the community on a weekly basis. For some this will be the park, for others a trip to a supermarket or a cafe. At the moment, my class are choosing to go to the park, I think that might change with the weather.