First Two Days

I’ve done my first two days at my new job, and it’s definitely different from anything I have ever done before. The class I’ve been put in as a TA is a class with young people who have autism, and sometimes a few other special needs as well. At the moment I still feel somewhat lost, since I have no experience with this type of work, and I don’t know anyone yet or how best to deal with situations.

I’m sure it will get easier as I get more experience. Eventually I should stop feeling quite so useless!

So far, I actually only got to do one day with “my” class though, since they were a bit short on staff today – so they actually put me in another class for the day! It was interesting to see what a different class with different special needs looked like.

There are so many impressions and so many new people and things to learn at this point, that at the end of the day I am completely shattered.

This weekend will probably consist mainly of me sleeping.

Me, coming home from work..

Me, coming home from work..

Back Home

I got back home late last night, and today I spent most of the day resting (after getting back home after an early appointment at the jobseeker’s agency). Traveling always makes me insanely tired.

It was great to see the boyfriend and Bailey again. I think the little ragamuffin has missed me. The dog, that is. I’m sure the boyfriend has too though.

Sorry for the short post, but I’m still tired!

Tomorrow I will start working. So excited and so nervous!

I will report back tomorrow (unless I’m sleeping because I came home and crashed, so maybe I will report back in a couple of days).

In Sweden

I don’t have a lot to write at the moment, since I’m mainly enjoying my time back home (excluding the cold, of course). Feels like there’s a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it – trying to get to see everyone as much as possible.

My old boss has asked me to drop by and help her with some statistics that I did for her last year as well. Not sure when I’ll have the time for that… But she gave me a good reference for my job (I think?!), so I kinda feel like I owe her.

Today my mom had me over for dinner, and they made me a mini-Christmas dinner, since I was in the UK for Christmas. Yummy!

xmaslunch

Other than that, I’ve done some shopping. Found two dresses for two weddings I’m attending this Spring, as well as a pair of comfortable shoes for work.

My niece and nephew have been over a few times, and they’re so cute. I wanted to take a picture of them, and my niece immediately started making funny faces and poses.

My camera takes really bad quality pictures sometimes...

My camera takes really bad quality pictures sometimes…

Earlier in the week I visited a friend to see her for lunch, and to do our Christmas gift exchange. I gave her a coffee cup that said “You’re my person” (a quote from Grey’s Anatomy), and some English chocolates. She gave me this…

monopoly

I think she won. Her gift for me was way cooler!

A Very Long Time

My brother recently sent me this little video clip. I realise that a lot of you who read this don’t understand Swedish, but it’s of my nephew saying how him and Moa (my niece) will miss Bailey (my dog) for a very long time.

The word he keeps repeating is “long”.

Adorable.

 

You can tell that he’s in the middle of dinner from the amount of ketchup on his shirt and face!

Oh, and I asked about the gash above his eye. I wondered if he’d run into a wall or something. Apparently, Viggo’s story is that his toy car Lightning McQueen jumped up and hit him very hard.

Because I guess that’s what toy cars do?

Quick Note

Just a quick note before I head off to the airport. This came in an e-mail recently:

job-offer

Hooray, they liked me!

I’ve accepted the position, but before we know if I truly get it my medical has to be approved and the DBS check go through.  (DBS check is to make sure you’re not barred from working with children and/or people with special needs.)

I really hope that nothing goes wrong, but that everything is approved. If so, my tentative start date is February 4th, once I’m back in the UK. Fingers crossed!

So happy!

Going Home

I’m going back home to Sweden tomorrow for a week and a bit.

Basically, I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. My aunt and uncle offered to pay for my flight ticket if I would come and take care of their dog while they go on vacation. Since I don’t have a job yet, I’m not one to say no to a free flight back home!

Feb25

I’m looking forward to seeing my niece and nephew again after three months away! I know that’s not really long, and it will be a lot longer in the future between visits – but since it’s all fairly new, it feels good to see them again so soon. (We haven’t told them that I’m coming home, so it should be a surprise for them as well!)

It’ll be nice seeing the rest of my family as well of course, though I won’t get to see them all since they’re spread out in various parts of Sweden. Since I’m taking care of a dog, I can’t be travelling around, so I will have to see the others another time. At least I’ll get so see a fairly large percentage of them, since I’ll be in my original home town.

There’s also all the Swedish food that I’ve been missing. You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to some of my favourite things again!

I’m so lucky that the boyfriend can work half-days from home, meaning that he can be there and take care of Bailey (else I wouldn’t have been able to go). It’ll give the two of them some good bonding time as well. And as I keep telling the boyfriend, it also gives me a reason to come back, since he has my dog. (He absolutely hates it when I do that joke though!)

So, Sweden tomorrow! (Well barely, I land at 22.20 so won’t really be back in my home town until past midnight most likely.)

Power Outage

After I published the last blog post, the power went out in our neighborhood, and was out for what seemed like an eternity. It disappeared around 1pm and didn’t come back until 10pm. That’s a lot of hours without power.

Had it been a planned outage, maybe I could have been better prepared. But as it was, my iPad was at 23% battery and my phone about the same. Neither have any access to internet without wi-fi. At least on the iPad I have several books downloaded in the Kindle app. I’m actually quite surprised at how long 23% lasted me in the end (about three hours).

After that, things got pretty boring.

 

I will get better…

At posting regularly, I promise. Then again, I’ve been writing this blog for over ten years now – and I still haven’t mastered regular updates, so maybe I shouldn’t promise more than I can deliver.

I seem to have spurts where I post a lot, then suddenly nothing for days. Bad blogger, bad!

So, I had that interview at a special needs school last week, and it wasn’t easy since I have no experience with these things. The questions were (obviously) very different compared to the kind of questions I normally get.

The interview was actually set up in three parts. An interview, time in class and a written test.

I think I did okay on the interview, though I did say a couple of times that since I had no experience I didn’t really know – but then I would use examples from things I’ve read or heard about back home in Sweden. (My mom used to be the department head of the municipalities department that deals with special needs young adults and adults.) And while they didn’t ever say, they did seem to like my responses because I saw them nodding now and then.

One of the questions was basically along the lines of; “many of the children here will never go into higher learning, and will most likely require assistance their entire life – why do you think we educate them?” Which is a very tricky question in a way, but I said that “every child deserves an education”, which is the simple answer and I’m sure someone with more experience could expand a lot more on that.

Then I went on about what they use in Sweden, which is loosely translated as the “normalcy principle”. Basically, if you have a child with a disability, you look at a child who doesn’t have a disability, and what a regular day looks like for them – then you think “how can we make the child with a disability’s day as much like that as possible?”

Time in class I found difficult. Not because of the children (I quite enjoyed time in class), but because I came in during a group activity that was already going on – so I didn’t feel like I could help out much or show any initiative. I did try to do the motions that I saw the other TA’s doing, but I didn’t know these children (or young people, really, cause they put me in the class of 17 year olds), so I didn’t want to start messing with them. They all had autism, and with me not knowing them I didn’t want to hit any of their triggers by mistake.

The written task turned out rather difficult as well. It had questions like “we use a home school diary, what would you write in it for the parents and why?”. It’s the kind of thing where I thought there would be a policy on what you would write in them. (Can you tell I’ve worked in HR? I want rules and policies for everything!)

In any case, interviewing at a special needs school was interesting – and I also think it would be an interesting (and challenging!) job, unlike anything I’ve ever done before.