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Born to teach

by Donna Sealy

Bianca Carter is a Special Education teacher and a dedicated one at that.

For the last 15 years she has been dedicated to teaching and ensuring that children are the best they can be.

“When I went in to Special Ed I didn’t necessarily know what it was or what it entailed. That was at Ellerton Special Unit and when I got there I realised there were units and schools for students who had disabilities whether they were mental or physical disabilities.

“What I found when I went there was that they were a lot children who had a lot of behavioural problems. I was 19 and I was teaching children who were 15 years old. That was interesting. It was only after that I did courses in special needs education and the first one I would have done was at Erdiston Teacher’s Training College with a professor from Howard University,” she told LOVING ME.

Carter said she loves children, teaching and has a passion for the area she has chosen. She also said that having that special needs training prepared her for anything that happens in primary schools.

This summer when students and teachers will be enjoying their summer vacation and those long carefree days of doing absolutely nothing, she is hoping to have a few children in the classroom to ensure they do not lose anything they learnt the year before.

“When I was working with Mr. Lashley a lot of the time, we would have a class with about 20 children. Among those 20 children, you had some who had challenges whether it was reading or it would be in a specific area, but they were behind the normal group of children.

“This is why I want to have classes where the groups would be small. In Special Ed, our ratio is supposed to be 8:1, eight children to one teacher, although we have classes that have 10 children. It is usually more effective when you have groups that are smaller. What we also so in Special Ed is individual instruction. We usually assess what the child needs and develop a plan that’s based on that,” Carter explained.

She likes the challenge of having to “think outside of the norm” to get children to grasp a particular concept.

As for her summer classes, the teacher said she has found that children tend to forget.

“A lot of the time, because the children are not engaged when we come back to school, with some of them you have to start all over again. If you keep their minds engaged – and I do believe that children should play as well – in that way what we find is a lot of the time the parents are pleased with the results but there are children who have these needs, these challenges and what unfortunately happens is that they continue throughout the system and the needs are not addressed.

“They go up throughout the school and the needs are going to get greater. … From what I’ve been seeing and what I’ve been hearing there are more and more children that are going into secondary school missing things that they should have had from primary school whether that is reading, mathematics. I’ve seen children from main stream schools, I am not blaming the teachers. … it is difficult. I believe that children have to be engaged,” Carter asserted.

This is where her Steps to Success Summer School will come in.

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