We’ve been here for four months, and I still haven’t written about my school. Kevin had the pictures on his computer, and I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Lately though, more people have been asking me about work, and I realized I really should make the time, because I work at a pretty cool place. I work at a school for children with a variety of special needs, which is pretty rare here in Malaysia. There really aren’t a lot of options for parents here as there are very few public school programs, and not many private options either. The school has grown in the 8-10 ( I can’t remember) years that it has been open, and now have 9 classes at the school, and recently opened two classes that are housed in another international private school, creating opportunities for a more inclusive environment. We have a Kindergarten program which goes to age 7-8. Next our classes our leveled 1-4, based on the needs of the students, and not age. There are also pre-vocational and vocational classes. We have 3 Calvert classrooms, which allow our students with stronger skills to move through a home school curriculum at their own pace. I teach the level 1 students who are currently five awesome kids who focus on communication, cognitive, and functional skills. Our school day runs from 9:00-2:00, and the kids get group OT everyday, 1-1 OT once a week, 1-1 Speech sessions 3 times a week, and group speech 3 times a week. We used to go to a kid’s gym once a week, but that program had been going on for a long time, and the kids had gotten the most out of it they could. Some of the classes take dance now, but my class has a more focused movement and learning time I designed to meet their needs a little better. We also have art once a week, with an art teacher who does a great job to support all of the different levels of our students. We go out once or twice a week for walks in the community to the grocery store to practice social rules and functional skills, as well as twice a month on community outings around the city. So anyway, our building is in a commercial/office complex, which might look a little weird from the outside:
But it’s pretty amazing inside. Sara, the founder of the school had a chance to design a number of different aspects of the inside. The school started on the 3rd and 4th floors, soon expanded to the 2nd floor, and most recently expanded to the first floor as well. I wasn’t sure what to expect of a school in Malaysia on the 3rd floor of an office complex, so I was pretty surprised when we opened the 3rd floor door to this: The playground is surrounded by glass walls and doors that open into a bright and sunny school.
Next it was down to the second floor:
It’s a pretty amazing school, with fantastic teachers, cool families, and a great mission. Anyway, our Deepavali celebration was lots of fun yesterday, and I look forward to a lot more learning, fun, and student accomplishments while I’m here!