I left the classroom with a fang of insecurity and disappointment that made me cringed inwardly like what most cravens would do. I thought, "I'm not trained to handle toddlers with a learning disability, so it's not my problem anymore." However, when "Sheila" had to be pulled out of the classroom as her mother cried out of desperation and confusion, I felt powerless as a teacher.
In the culture or society where most adults resign to labelling children's early manifestations of problems and disabilities as "naughty," "hard-headed," or "lazy" than confronting the underlying reasons for those situations, leave us, teachers, the dedicated ones, at least, are left to doing whatever we could to intervene, no matter how limited our knowledge or experience is.
I have upwards of 300 toddlers every semester. There are times I am successful in helping my toddlers afflicted with those life-long conditions, but there are times that I am. When I am not, it breaks my heart. I am always jealous of the resources that professionals and teachers in the West can have access to in planning and doing the needed interventions for their LD students.
When Shiela, my student, had to be rejected several times and had to be pulled out, I knew I had to do something. I decided to pursue a degree in Learning and Disability, and I have been very fortunate enough that the University of Portsmouth had given my application a favourable response. I will be in their MSc Psychology and Learning Disability in September, 2019. I will have to pay for the deposit at least a month before the course starts.
The degree and learnings I will gain from this enable me to come back able to help more other teachers and professionals provide toddlers afflicted with autism and learning disabilities the help and life they deserve.
I could stay in my comfort zone – continue teaching, ignoring the fact that some of my young learners have different and specific needs while not being held accountable for what they would become in the future. Yet, I do not want to be craven. I want to rise up and take up the challenge. I want to be true to the vow I made to myself and to my profession. I want to be true to the essence of those accolades I have received – Elite Teacher 2018 or Top Teacher Award 2019. I want to make a difference in the lives of young learners and children.
The fund I'll gather from here will all be spent on the tuition and research project. In return, I will be sending you a free electronic copy of the book I published last year. It's a good book for those who want to sit IELTS or Learn about Chinese culture -- how to do business or live happily in China as foreigners.