On being my son’s Shadow at School
This year Ren entered Grade 3. He has 1 new classmate and a new adviser. On the first week of the class opening, all the parents of those who are under the mainstreaming program were asked by the school director to stay inside the classroom or have a shadow teacher, a yaya or any guardian to look and observe the kid for the first quarter.
When Ren was in Grade 1, I stayed at school the whole year, I go out once in a while but I’m still inside the school premises. When he was in Grade 2 I felt that he can take care of himself and with his therapist’s advise I did not stayed anymore. There were some feedback from his teachers every now and then about his behavior but whatever happened that year was a learning process for the both of us.
Usually, the school only requires a shadow or companion inside the classroom if they see the need of it. But the goal is to lessen or eliminate the presence of one as the school year progress.
This year, I was surprised that they asked us all to stay inside for at least the first quarter. In Grade 3 there are 3 kids in the mainstream program, so there are 3 shadows inside the small classroom for the month of June.
After June 30, one parent graduated. Well, I think her son doesn’t need her there naman talaga. This kid is so smart and from Grade 1 he did not had any shadow inside the classroom. Kaya nga nagulat ako na pati sya kasama.
As described by ehow.com, Shadow teachers services are very beneficial and can increase the child’s quality of learning and overall classroom experience. These experts help the child focus, communicate, participate in class, socialize, show courtesy to others and control her behavior. Shadow teachers help special needs students learn independence, as well.
To give you an idea, if you’ll get a shadow teacher service the cost can range from Php200-300 per hour. Some give a package deal per month. Ang mahal ng service na’to.
The school accepts parents or guardian to do the shadowing, but it also depends on the needs of the kid. Some kids are better when the shadow is not related to them.
Buti na lang si Ren, okay lang na ako, kasi ang mahal magpa shadow.
What do I do inside the classroom?
Ren doesn’t need constant reminders to focus now unlike when he was in Grade 1, so this time I am quite far from his seat. I tap him once in a while when I notice that he was not able to pick up instructions. He usually do not hear instructions when he’s busy doing something else (like writing). I need to repeat what the teacher have just said.
I’m there to observe him and then we talk about what he did the entire day when we arrive at the house. I sometimes take pictures and we discuss how he can improve on it. For example, when a classmate is talking to him and he does not respond. I tell him that it shows that you’re not interested to the person and that doing so might hurt his/her feelings. I also tell him that doing that will not help him to get friends too.
Socialization is one of Ren’s challenges. He likes to play with his classmates, but I noticed that he doesn’t like talking or telling stories that much. But I am happy that all his classmates understands him and they are the one that initiates talking to him.
But of course, being inside takes a lot of my time at home. I can’t do some household chores and pagod na ko minsan pag-uwi. That explains why I can’t update as often compared last summer.
I think Ren can handle himself naman. I hope he won’t need me inside na soon.