Mary’s Story: The Inspiring Journey of a Pupil with Special Educational Needs and the Innovative Approaches Devised by her Special Education Teacher and Adopted by the Pupils in her School to use Irish Sign Language (ISL)
Keywords:Inclusion, Language, Communication, Irish Sign Language, Whole School Initiatives
This article is based on a presentation given at the 2017 Annual Conference of the Irish Association of Teachers in Special Education (IATSE), Marino Institute of Education, Dublin.
The theme of the 2017 IATSE conference was Ideas that work: inspiring creativity, innovation and collaboration. Every day schools all over the country are inspiring, creating , innovating and collaborating and I felt this was an opportunity for me to share a story, a simple story, of what I as a school principal had been witnessing in our school. In this article, I share the journey of Mary, a little girl with both complex educational and medical needs who enrolled in our school in 2013. It is a story of resilience on the part of Mary, and of dedication and innovation on the part of her resource teacher, Siobhán, to improve the quality of life and of educational attainment for Mary. I hope this article might encourage other schools, teachers or principals to share their experiences, to acknowledge the bravery and courage of pupils and affirm the work of staffs who strive every day to bring about change and inspiration in schools.
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