A Prayer of Thanks for all God’s Children

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Lord our God,

We thank you that you made each one of us in your image and likeness, and that we are all your beloved children.

We pray for the children/students we teach.

We pray for children/students who

… make us smile;

… challenge our way of thinking;

… test our patience;

… we find easy to like;

… we find difficult to like;

… are bright;

… are hardworking;

… find learning tough;

… get on our nerves;

… are a delight;

… like to laugh;

… always look sad;

… always look lost;

… talk all the time;

… never say a word;

… are easily overlooked;

… are impossible to ignore;

… remind us of ourselves when we were younger!

We thank you for all the children/students who have an impact on our lives and for the privilege of having an impact on their lives.

Lord help us not to label those we teach or to fall in to the trap of thinking we have got them sussed. Help us to be open to new revelations and the work of the Holy Spirit in each of their lives.

Lord, use those we teach to teach us. Help us to be Christ-like at all times; seeing each one with your eyes and valuing them with your heart of love.

We ask this prayer in the name of Jesus the teacher.

Amen.

This prayer by Rubert Kaye was first published in the Autumn 2006 of ACT Now, the membership magazine of the Association of Christian Teachers. 

 

February is Inclusive Education Month in Canada

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It’s National Inclusive Education Month! Check out the Inclusive Education Canada website for daily commentaries from educators, students, and parents on their views and experiences with Inclusive Education in Canada.

Our vision is that all people with intellectual disabilities are fully included with their peers in regular education, with appropriate supports from early childhood through to post secondary and adult life-long learning.

Visit: http://inclusiveeducation.ca/

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Chair Leader Advocacy Week

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During the week of May 25 to May 29, 2015, Spinal Cord Injury Alberta – Medicine Hat, will be hosting a week-long event of CHAIR-LEADERS in the community of Medicine Hat. We are inviting members of our community to participate in this advocacy event to draw attention to daily barriers to wheel chair users.

Chair Leaders is an event that focuses primarily on the issue surrounding accessibility and mobility for persons with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities. Developed in Nova Scotia, Chair-Leaders has already established itself as a fun and effective awareness effort. This special event had community leaders wheeling through their workdays, allowing them to gain firsthand insight into what those in the disability community face on a day-to-day basis.

Although the Chair-Leaders event is intended to be an eye-opener for participants, it also aims to raise funds during the campaign. These funds will be used to help Spinal Cord Injury (Alberta) in continuing to provide services to individuals who struggle with mobility issues in our community.

We invite you and other members of your organization to participate in this community event. Donations are welcomed, though are not a requirement to participate in this exciting event.

May 28, 2015

Hugh Lehr, Associate Superintendent of Learning Services will be participating as a Chair Leader for the day.  Donations will be accepted at the MHCBE district office.Chair Leader Handout (2)

Learning Assistant PD Day

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On January 23rd, the MHCBE Learning Assistants will be participating in a PD day related to the work they do with our school division.  Topics/Presentations will include:

  • Supporting all Students
  • FASD
  • Autism
  • Visual Supports for Regulation
  • Supporting Learners

By clicking on the Professional Learning tab at the top of the page you will be able to access presentations, handouts and other PD materials as we move forward.

Professional Learning Opportunity: Dr. Stuart Shanker on Self-Regulation

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Stuart Shanker (2013) defines self regulation as a group of abilities that we develop gradually throughout childhood, adolescence and even into adulthood. These abilities include:

  • The ability to attain, maintain and change one’s level of energy to match the demands of a task or situation.
  • The ability to monitor and modify one’s emotions.
  • The ability to sustain and shift one’s attention and to ignore distractions when necessary.
  • The ability to understand both the meaning of a variety of interactions and how to engage in them in a sustainable way.
  • The ability to connect with and care about what others are thinking and feeling; To empathize and act accordingly.

These skills are clearly connected to school and life success. A child who does not yet have the skills to independently deal with the stressors of day-to-day life may be impulsive, withdrawn, or even aggressive. The job of those supporting the growth and development of self-regulations skills in children shifts from that of regulating them when they are young to supporting them to build the skills that will result in the ability to self-regulate as they grow. This ability can take years to develop and will develop at different rates for each child.

Regulating children is the not about “making” children behave in certain ways. The focus is on developing self-regulation skills rather than on controlling and/or eliminating “behaviours”. Initially, adults help children manage their lives and move toward self-regulation by comforting them and helping them to calm when they are overwhelmed or upset, by providing them with predictable and stable schedules and routines, by monitoring their regulation state and providing the needed calming or alerting activities, by helping them to understand and manage feelings, and by guiding and supporting them in their interactions with others.

From day to day and situation to situation, a child’s ability to regulate their behaviour, attention, emotions and social interactions will vary. Some days and situations will be hard. In order for children to learn to self-regulate, the adults in their lives will need to help them to understand what sorts of experiences or activities leave them drained or overwhelmed and what they can do to feel better when this happens.

Dr. Stuart Shanker will be in Medicine Hat on March 17, 2015 to talk about the nature of self-regulation, the experiences that promote the development of self regulation, and the factors that impede it’s development. In his talk, he will provide information on what parents and those working in education can do to enhance the self-regulation of each and every child.

Click here to learn more about this learning opportunity or to register.

To learn more about self-regulation, check out the following article written by Dr. Stuart Shanker: Self-Regulation: Calm, Alert and Learning

Parent Perspective: Our Hopes for Hunter

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hopeThank you to Dan and Laura Bernhart for enhancing an assembly with the theme of hope by sharing their hopes for their son Hunter.

I am the parent of a ten year boy named Hunter. I was recently asked to speak at his school about what hopes my husband and I have for him. This is what we wrote.

What are our hopes for Hunter?

  1. Our hope is that Hunter will always be surrounded by people who love him as strong as we love him, and will advocate for him his entire life, even after we are gone.
  2. Our hope is that we, as his parents, can continue to make progress in our understanding of Hunter and who he is. Some days we feel so very far away. Every so often we get just the smallest glimpse of his world.
  3. Our hope is that Hunter is able to further conquer his behaviours in a constructive manner before he gets too big.
  4. Our hope is that Hunter learns to read and write, so he is able to communicate with our world and that one day we will be able to communicate with his world; that we can ask him all the questions we’ve been saving up all these years.
  5. Our hope is that on the rough days we are able to rest in the peace of Jesus and stay strong enough to help Hunter through the darkness. And on the good days that we can savour every second, every moment, and store those seconds and moments away in our hearts.
  6. Our hope is that Hunter finds his passion, finds the one thing that will drive him.
  7. Our hope is that Hunter continues to attract people that love him and want to be part of his life. Through his infectious smile and kind heart, Hunter draws the best out of people around him.
  8. Our hope is that Hunter will not be defined as “the autistic boy”, but rather the boy who is happy, caring, and makes people feel special and loved.