Friday, May 07, 2004

observing my blog class ...

I'm sitting in my Y10 blog class looking at a funny bunch of students. Some working well, some not working at all. I must say that this class has been a mixed success. It has not been the frenzy of passionate writing that I had originally thought it would be! Some students have come along way, but others are still stuck back in term 1, week 3.

One young student has an integration aid to assist her and never seems to work very well. She is very slow and tends to go at her own pace a lot of the time. She is a recent arrival at Highvale this year and so has no real history here - usually a valuable thing for teachers to draw on in terms of knowing how to work best with a student. She is also mute. She often seems very tired and apparently does not eat very much through the day. Our blog class is in the morning so she still has some energy - I'm told that in the afternoons she is very listless. Because she does not talk and I do not sign very much (Hello and goodbye are about my limit at present!), combined with the fact that this young lass spends most of her time with her integration aid, we have not been able to build a very strong connection.

Anyway today, her integration aid (a lovely woman in her mid 40s) was busy somewhere else and not able to come to this class. I realised this was the opportunity I had been waiting for - some time to sit and talk with her (I talk and she listens; then she signs and try and understand - she often writes notes too). Well, today she wrote quite a lot (compared to her usal efforts). She seemed happier than usual and seemed quite open to communication from me.

It's these little breakthroughs that make everything seem worthwhile.


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