I’ve been a SENCO officially for 3 months now and I did some SENCO work last year too so I know lots of jargon and acronyms. I even know when to use them in conversations with people who matter e.g. I can say that the EP is coming to carry out more observations to support a child’s EHCP application, that I’m following SALT and LSS recommendations before referring the child to CAMHS. It sounds impressive. I can read reports and nod sagely as I read phrases such as “This child will benefit from using the Incredible 5 point scale”, “A Circle of Friends approach may be beneficial”, “The school will produce a Social Story to support this aspect of the difficulty”.
It isn’t total gibberish, as a class teacher I have been involved when my SENCO asked me to set up a Circle of Friends or gave me a Social Story to use with a child. I could do that. Now it is different. As Einstein said, “Any fool can know. The point is to understand”. I did know, I thought I understood but having to explain to others who don’t even pretend to know is forcing me to check my understanding. Thank goodness for Google!
As the holidays are drawing to a close I have started to think about what I need to do for specific children next year. I know that I have a slightly greater knowledge about some of the phrases that I thought I understood but it will be in explaining to others that I will discover how well I really understand. There is nothing wrong with not knowing, in asking for things to be explained; I am still new to the job but for parents this is their child’s well-being and education that I am supporting.
They expect that I know, that I can both talk the talk and walk the walk and I need to be able to. As the poster I had up in my classroom when I was a full-time class teacher said,
“How would you feel if your airline pilot announced that 90% of his landings were good?”
Our children need us to be able to support them properly 100% of the time and not just talk the talk.