Monday, October 21, 2013

A Special Goal

It was in 2007 when I made a decision to take up a post graduate certificate course on teaching special education. When I took the course, I did not really know what I was putting myself into. My mom wanted me to take up nursing so that when I go the states, I can easily find a job. But then I did not want to take another course for 2 or 3 years. This special education course will only take me 9 months and I can work at the same time because classes were on weekends. So anyway, eventually, I finish the course, took my practicum at St. Coletta Special School then off I flew to Singapore. When I was looking for a job in Singapore, I was willing to take any job just to secure a permit so I can stay there for good. Luckily, I got hired as a Special Needs Teacher in a small school and that was the beginning of my journey on this field.

It was quite a tough job for me but I personally find it rewarding when I get to develop a certain skill on a child and see their progress as I help them every day in school. We all experience hardship in our job but this one is quite different. Not many people really understand how to deal with children with special needs. Luckily I was given the patience to do so and I just did not help them, these kids helped too. I became more aware of the rights of these children and their right to be included as well. And that their disabilities should not come first as they all are, like all of us, human being first before their disabilities. Singapore is a great country for having the best facilities for children with special needs and persons with disabilities (whether physical or mental). Their local government program widely considers the rights of every individual whether you are special or not. But then not everyone understands this accordingly. An example is when a school like us go for a field trip and you will see different reactions from regular people when they see you. It’s all different reactions but so most of my experiences were generally good. People were accepting and helpful but there will be just some who feels like they should not be seen next to them.

I will just give some hilarious examples from people who are just unbelievable when they react towards children with special needs. But now, my goal is to continue to help. Or if I can volunteer, then I will do so. I see myself in this field for good. Maybe there will be a time that I should give myself a little break but I believe this is where I belong, for good.

This is a card written by a parent of my student. This simple note is the kind of simple thought that will make you feel that you did something right. This note is better than receiving a degree or diploma.


J Gerald C Legaspi is the Filipino author of and is currently working and travelling in and around South East Asia but spends most of his time in Jakarta, Manila and Singapore.


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