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SEND Work

21/03/17

 

This is Kieran’s first hand account of his tough, tiring but extremely rewarding work in a SEND School and why every day is worth it.

 

My first assignment offered to me by Protocol was with a SEND school in Cambridge. I was extremely excited about getting work so quickly and having it available long term if I wanted it.


Not having too much experience in SEND work I gladly accepted and was very eager to get started so I could start saving some money to put towards traveling. When I arrived at the school on my first day, Tuesday the 24th of January, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I honestly did think I would be in a normal mainstream classroom helping different students with their work throughout the day. I don’t think I’ve ever been more wrong in my life. I was quick to learn that these particular students had been kicked out of multiple mainstream schools and this school was their last chance at education. Extreme behaviour issues were the biggest challenge, I was quite shocked by it all at first because I had never really worked in a school or any work place that was this full-on. Being in a work situation like this definitely isn’t easy and it is tiring because these students don’t trust you and they definitely won’t if you don’t make any effort.


I found that they really tried to intimidate me early to scare me off or so they could get their way easily with me, I was warned of this and tried to be as confident and strong as I could in standing my ground in a professional way that would show these students that I’m here to help and won’t be a pushover to your tricks.


I think the biggest thing is being relaxed yet on your game and alert. You need to let them feel that you can be trusted and that you’re there to help them and be a friend but also to put them in line if they are acting it up. It’s a very busy job as you’re either trying to get them to class, get them back in class, stop an argument or fight or just trying to get them to be respectful. Keeping in mind they don’t know how to do these things well that most of us take for granted and that’s why we are there, to help them learn.


As tough, frustrating and tiring as it is, it is definitely rewarding. There are times where you can’t help but laugh with them and joke with them. They are all great kids that are being held back by a lack of self-belief and it can be brought out by being a friend and making them trust you. It’s only been a week and a half and I know I’m on the right track.

The biggest lesson I’ve taken away from working in SEND is not to give up, stay the course and be strong, don’t let the difficulty break your will. It’ll be worth it.

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