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.