A personal story …
We received the following personal reflection from Margaret at Naomi Valley Christian School and thought that others might find it encouraging:
I am the Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 teacher at Namoi Valley Christian School. We have been blessed to be part of the CEN association. Recently I was involved with the Inclusive Education Seminar run by Susan Barter and was encouraged to hear from different points of view, ranging from K to 12 of what teachers do for the integration, learning and care of ALL students. We have 2 and a half teachers at our school so there are not many people, much time or resources for collaborative planning or even sharing.
The Inclusive Education Seminar spurred me on and gave me good scaffolds to write IEPs for children that were needing them in my classroom. But more importantly just a great reminder that God has made everyone special, everyone is made differently but for a reason and we are to teach all children in light of God’s word with equity so that every student gets what they need rather than giving every student an equal amount of everything. I know for teachers everywhere the webinars might just feel like another thing but it was an encouragement to do the webinar to see we are part of a wider family, to see the different teachers in their different contexts – all over the web. We have been blessed by other schools within our family as they have invested and released other teachers to help us in our context.
Recently we had Lynne Butler from Covenant Christian School visit us to support us with her Special Needs Knowledge and expertise. And previously we have had Tim White from Covenant Christian School to help us think Christianly when planning. Then we have also visited Dubbo Christian School and Wellington Christian School to learn how they do things in the classroom, observe and be encouraged, particularly as Wellington is a small country Christian School too. In little ways other schools have helped us through giving their time and energy by running service camps up here namely Heritage Christian School and Emmaus Christian School and even donating their Woolworths dockets to us.
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It is great to know we are part of a bigger family, striving to serve our Lord and children together.