When I was younger and first met my two adopted cousins in Sydney I knew they were different. They did not learn the same way I did. They had trouble sitting still and they did not seem like the other children. They both had Autism and needed a lot more care than someone without Autism, yet were stuck in a school that was trying to fit them into mainstream classes with teachers who were not child-focused and just wanted to shift their responsibilities to the next teacher. It was then I realised I wanted to help other children like my cousins.
In year 10 I chose peer tutoring as an elective. I was tutoring children with a variety of disabilities in our Support Unit. I still recall the first time walking into the classroom and meeting Dane, an intelligent boy in year 8 with Autism. It was then I was brought back to thinking about my cousins and how they felt, alone and distraught thinking they were just bad children. The teacher told me he was having an ‘Autistic day’ and not to worry about him. I remember thinking ‘What terrible teachers if they just want to ignore someone because they’re having a rough day’. “Hughes (2004)… emphasises the need for a teacher to have humanity and warmth – to know at all times what students in a class are doing and also to care about what they are doing.” (Marsh, 2010, p. 3). Ignoring the teacher, I sauntered over to Dane, introduced myself and had a look at what he had been doing as well as what I was supposed to be doing with him. All his mathematic answers were incorrect but his working out was correct, I did not understand. Dane laughed at me looking at his answers. I asked him a few mathematical problems on the page, he looked down at the flo...
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... diversity. Frenchs Forest, New South Wales: Pearson Australia.
Bolton, P., Pickles, A., Harrington, R., Macdonald, H., & Rutter, M. (1992). Seasons of birth: issues, approches and findings for autism. Journal Of Child Psychology And Psychiatry, 33(3), 509 - 530.
Brophy, J. E., & Good, T. L. (1974). Teacher-student relationships: causes and consequences. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Cole, M. (2006). Education, equality and human rights (2nd ed.). London: New York.
Crawford, J., & Taniprasut, L. (2003). Australian aboriginal culture. Western Australia: R.I.C. Publications.
Deiro, J. A. (2005). Teachers do make a difference. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press.
Marsh, C. J. (2010). Becoming a teacher: Knowledge, skills and issues (5th ed.). Frenchs Forrest, New South Wales: Pearson Australia.
SCU, (2014). EDU10128 Lecture 4. Retrieved from www.scu.edu.au
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