Sunday, 26 January 2014

Welcome to Aspect and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention

It's still the school holidays here in NSW, Australia but that doesn't mean we teachers get to enjoy our summer holidays for long! Yesterday and today I attended two courses provided by my new employer - Aspect (Autism Spectrum Australia). The first was the Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training, and todays training was a 'Welcome to Aspect' day where we explored what the organization is about, its history, how it operates and the other services it offers. I have long been associated with the organization as I have a family member who attend the local school that I will be working with when they were starting school, so I am looking forward to working with this organisation, the staff and most importantly the students.
I will be in a satellite class - these are classes that have been created for those students who are ready to move out of the base school but are not quite ready to be fully mainstreamed. I am attached to a local public school, but we have our own building which we occupy. I will be working with Year 1 students two days a week (whilst hubby is home with my bubba's) and job sharing with a lovely young woman who worked with these kids last year. I'm very much looking forward to getting back into the classroom, and putting some of my learning from my studies to practice.  
The training course that I attended on Wednesday was for Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training. This is a program that is designed to "focus on prevention and offers proven strategies for safely defusing anxious, hostile, or violent behavior at the earliest stage". This is probably one of the best courses I have attended in recent years, and our instructor made it engaging and relevant using real-life stories from his own experiences. There was also a practical side to the course, as we learnt how to protect ourselves (and others) from students who are lashing out, as well as the appropriate methods to restrain a student - I must stress that these are only to be used as a last resort and only if the student is putting themselves or others in a dangerous situation - I hope I never have to use this but it's better to know so I can look after my student(s) in the best possible manner, as well as keep myself safe.
We viewed some videos that I will share below. They are quite confronting but put into perspective the need to make appropriate training available to all who work with children with support needs (whether they be ASD, behavioural, psychological etc) at University level - not once you've started working with these students.

(Deadly Discipline? ABC News) (Hidden Shame. 7:30)

I am very much looking forward to getting back to work, getting to know my students and creating resources to meet their needs - which I will share with you all.

Hope everyone has a positive start to the new school year! All the best for 2014!

Thursday, 2 January 2014

A trip to visit the Dinosaurs!

I have created this work booklet to use when you are taking your students on a trip to visit the museum when studying Dinosaurs.

Teachers should print off enough copies so that there is one per student - and print them off on card. You may want to cut them out, punch the holes and tie them together yourself or have your students to it themselves - you know your kids and what they are capable of doing. Students should then be encouraged to colour in the front cover, write their names and then fill in the second page showing the date, their class and the name of the museum they are visiting.
I hope your students enjoy making and using this booklet. It will make a nice keep-sake for their parents too.

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