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Critical incident reflection

Critical incident date: 18/11/15


Description
During my first teaching lesson on Wednesday the 18th of November I was teaching my
preps, who are between the ages of 5 and 6, when I asked all of the girls to stand up to collect
their paper. All seemed regular until a boy who is diagnosed with Autism stood in this same
line with the girls. I had been previously told by my teacher that this child identifies with
being a girl, but I had yet to see this occur, so this was a new experience for me. The
appropriate way to deal with this situation is what Im looking at.
Interpretation
This event is critical to me because it is a situation that I hadn't had to personally deal with
before, and because it is something that has been coming up a lot more in the media. It was
also a very delicate situation due to the fact that the boy is also Autistic. What was interesting
about the situation was how well all the students reacted to this event. I was expecting some
teasing or other negative behaviour to occur, however, the children had accepted this boy as
one who considered himself a girl, and even decided to mention to me that that is just him,
he goes with the girls. Although their understanding of the situation was most likely quite
limited, they still managed to respect his decision, as innocent as it might be, and continue on
as if it was no big deal. This was profound to me as I know that if something like this
occurred when I was in school the children, and maybe even the teacher, wouldve acted in a
much more negative manner. When doing research I found that it is important to allow
children with autism choices in regards to social settings, contacts and conversation
(Magnusen & Attwood, 2005, p.57), therefore if this child wants to do what the girls in the
class do, that is something that can easily be accommodated to as it isn't disruptive to the
classroom.
Outcome
I have learned that children are very perceptive, even at an age as young as 5, and that they
are able to acknowledge and understand that everyone is different and that these differences
shouldnt make an impact on how we see them. It also makes me feel more prepared if Im
ever faced with a similar situation, and makes me think about how I might teach my future
classes with dealing with the unexpected in a positive way. From here I think its important to
look further intro teaching children with Autism, and maybe even looking into ways that I as
a teacher can introduce a sensitive topic to the class.
References:
Magnusen, C. L., & Attwood, T. (2005). Teaching Children with Autism and Related
Spectrum Disorders: An Art and a Science. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Retrieved
from http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy2.acu.edu.au/lib/australiancathu/reader.action?
docID=10115260&ppg=1

Critical incident reflection


Critical incident date: 23/11/15

Description
While on yard duty with my associate teacher, an argument occurred
between two children, with one being called over to the teacher to figure
out the situation. The child who was about to be questioned was already
quite angry from the event, and at being called over started to get more
emotional and started swearing at my teacher for no apparent reason. Im
examining this event as it isnt something that I had seen before, and
because this childs brother is in my class, so itd be interesting to be
aware of such behaviour.
Interpretation
The most interesting thing to note about this incident was how my teacher dealt with it.
Rather than getting angry and fuelling the boys own anger, she simply told him to walk with
her. At first this made him swear more but upon realising that that would cause him more
consequences, he immediately stopped. After walking around for several minutes, his anger
quickly disappeared, and in its place was a much more calm and reasonable person. After
filling out a behaviour form, my teacher questioned his anger and his reasons for swearing at
her when she didnt accuse him of anything, and told him the consequences of his actions,
which he accepted much better after having walked off his anger. This child may or may not
suffer from some behavioural issues, so I believe that by having him walk before questioning
him, she was able to have him think more rationally, and have him realise the consequences
of his actions on his own. One of the four components of effective classroom discipline as
found by Boynton and Boynton (2005), is that there is a consequence to unacceptable
behaviour, which can be shown in this instance. Although this was not in the classroom, it
still occurred at school and was in front of a teacher, therefore the same rules apply.
Outcome
I have learned that every child responds to situations and consequences in different ways,
with this child in particular becoming angrier when he knows he has done something wrong.
This situations is something that can assist me in any future instances that have similar
attributes, showing that there is no one way to properly respond to a situation, and that you
need to be aware of how a child will be respond to you in order for them to properly
understand the consequences of the situation and not repeat this behaviour/issue again.
References
Boynton, M. & Boynton, C. (2005). Educators Guide to Preventing and Solving Discipline
Problems. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy2.acu.edu.au/lib/australiancathu/reader.action?
docID=10096111&ppg=3