The real world …

March 27, 2007

I was lucky to spend time in a special needs primary school yesterday as part of my latest placement.  This experience would be very hands on and I was a little nervous.  The head teacher informed me that I would be working with a small group of children, seven in all, most of them unable to communicate verbally.  

When I arrived in class the children were already gathered in a circle accompanied by a few classroom assistants.  They were singing their ‘good morning’ song.  A seat had been left for me and the teacher signalled for me to join them.  After I’d taken my seat one of the children introduced me in his own unique fashion (I found out as the day went on what a character he is!).  I could do nothing but smile at being given such a warm welcome.  

I was amazed that my day passed so quickly and had been such fun!  Story time and role play; a lazy ladybird and pretend sleeping; a bouncy kangaroo and roaring tiger; time in soft play; massage; messy hands and faces at lunchtime; lights and a bubble machine and colours and noisy things; counting the birds as we walked to the shops.   The children had bowled me over with their affecton, happiness and curiosity.  Suddenly my own anxieties and stresses made no sense in this very open, real and loving world.

At home time we gathered in a circle again and the teacher sang ‘Celebrate’ as the children clapped in time.  A Christian song was the last thing I was expecting and I was happy to join in, smiling in God’s presence.  Then it was time for the ‘goodbye see you tomorrow’ song that gave me a lump in my throat.  

The teacher shared something I’m unlikely to forget … each child here has his or her own way of communicating … watch out for a light touch or look that happens in an instant … catch it or it will be lost forever.

God got my attention yesterday.

He speaks to us in whispers of love and frequently uses those who appear the weakest and most vulnerable. 

One comment

  1. I’m so glad you have decided to blog again! Your insights are moving and passionate and I for one look forward to what you have to say.

    I’m never surprised to hear about people who have a moving experience when they share space and time with people we call disabled. God so often shines from these special people like a beacon and I always rediscover my own frailty and disablity in company such as that which you were lucky enough to share.

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