Another school year has begun. This year has brought a lot of changes. I work with some very special students and I often get to work with them for more than one year. Last year, I had a group of more experienced students who all knew school routines and expectations very well – and I already knew a lot about their strengths and interests. Most of those students have now moved on to new programs. This year, I have a totally different group of students most of whom are new to full day school.
Last year, my students were able to integrate into a wide variety of activities around the school from the very first day. We explored our local community and had great discussions about life in other places. We got right to work.
This year, it feels like starting over – a whole new adventure. My students, staff and I are working together to find our rhythm together. We are also working on finding our place in the wider school community.
Every September is a reminder that I am also a learner as I work to learn the needs, interests, strengths and motivations of my new students. This year more than most.
John Kershaw (@jmkershaw) teaches students with autism. He has a strong belief in helping all students find their place in the community.