I am currently working at a Alternative Provision School in Devon, England. I work as a Grade D Teaching Assistant supporting students who have emotional, social and behavioural needs both in and out of school. I am also a mentor and help to provide pastoral support to many of our students. As part of this role I have completely restructured our mentoring system within school and am providing more specific, tailored support to our young people! Previous to this spent 18 months working as the Autism Specialist at a large mainstream school in Newton Abbot. I took responsibility for the majority of students at the school who were ASC or who presented with traits of ASC. I held regular social skill sessions with them and ran a buddy club at lunch times to further help build social skills and develop a sense of safety and well-being.
I'm not big on the whole academic side of teaching! The type of students I work with are never going to be able to fully engage with their academics unless we tackle some of their other needs first. I love to support students with their mental health, pastoral and well-being needs through relationship building, play, exploration, trust, respect and by creating a safe and nurturing environment.
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I went to Swansea University where I studied Ancient History and Egyptology. Somehow I got a 2:1 at the end of three years! Woop! Since University I have been on countless training courses run by the Devon Communication & Interaction team relating to Autism and I have completed my Level 1 Connected Kids certificate in mindfulness and meditation for children and young people. I also have a level 2 and 3 certificate in counselling skills and am now undertaking my level 4 diploma to qualify me as a Counsellor and Psychotherapist. I'm also undertaking a Mindfulness course for young people aged 12-18 in July with the British Mindfulness Institute and in October 2017 I will be attending a course on Mental Health First Aid Youth with Livewell Southwest.
♥ Check out my blog Not a Mainstream Teacher for ideas, thoughts and ramblings regarding education, therapy, SEN, mentoring and creative interventions!! ♥ Check out my insta too! @not.a.mainstream.teacher