I'm surprised by what I've learned

8th April 2005 at 01:00
Jyoti Sharma trained as a nursery nurse, and began her career as one of the support staff in an autism unit at a special school. She is now a play interaction specialist employed by Leicester City Council.

"My interest in special needs came from my work as a volunteer in a play scheme where there were children with special needs. It's rewarding being able to help the children - especially when you reach a moment when they can be integrated into a mainstream setting.

Working at the special school was daunting at first, and children with autism are challenging. But I knew I had the patience and I enjoyed the challenge. The school sent me on a lot of training courses that developed my understanding. It always helps to have some theory behind what you're doing.

Later, I helped manage a classroom, and I enjoyed steering the children into shared activities.

After five years at the special school, I got a job with the special needs support service. The main focus is training assistants and nursery nurses in using interactive approaches for children with autism.

I model techniques like following the child's lead in play, mirroring what the child is doing - such as flapping or spinning - and then gradually shaping it into something more interactive.

I love my job. I feel surprised by myself, at the experience and knowledge I've gained. I'd like to do a further course and get teacher status: I'm not stopping here."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now