- Amanda McKinney
Changes are Afoot!
Hey everyone! So I’ve been living here in Pucallpa for 27 days thus far and its AWESOME!!! I want to stay forever…. :-)
So my last blog talked about my first day of school….so much has happened since then! That week I discovered while working with them that 2 of the students that are deaf & autistic students aren’t actually deaf at all! Just autistic! Because of this, Carlos and I will not be working with them, but they will be integrated with the regular classrooms. Also, turns out the older deaf and autistic student who was in our classroom the whole school day isn’t actually deaf either, just non-verbal, so he isn’t in our classroom either anymore. That was news to me because that same student was here in 2014 when I was here and I was told then as well that he was deaf.
So we are down to 14 deaf students and Carlos and I have split them – I’m working with the 7 younger/lower language students and he is working with the 7 older/higher language students. We finally have a work schedule! And I’m teaching English, so it’s a packed week!
And then the latter part of last week and this week thus far, we have learned about some upcoming changes that are going to completely change our schedules. But it will be for the best! Peru has created rules and protocol for implementing better accessibility and IEPs(Individual Education Plans) for each student with special needs that is integrated in the regular primary school and for the students with multiple disabilities in the special school. We are just now going to start implementing it all this year, so this is going to be a crazy busy year getting all the teachers educated about the new rules for accessibility, getting the parents more involved in their kids’ education, and getting ourselves into the flow of doing all the paperwork required for this. It is a lot! Carlos and I are now a part of a team with the other teachers that work with the students with physical and mental disabilities. We have had two 2 hour meetings-one Monday and one Tuesday thus far where I had to interpret this new info for Carlos. The only thing that saved me is that I know the U.S. system for this, so I kind of knew what the process is. But man, having to interpret soo much while struggling to understand all the Spanish was exhausting! We have another meeting Friday morning…we’ll see how much info I can actually pass along to Carlos….
Soo this year is going to be crazy busy, but its AWESOME!!! Before this, there haven’t been any laws requiring accessibility. Now there are!!! This is a HUGE step towards providing better education for every child with a disability! I am sooo excited for these changes! But it’s going to be A LOT of work and a lot of changes for the students, parents, and teachers.
Please pray as we start to figure out a plan for implementing all the changes and rules. This may involve moving a lot of the students to lower grade levels which better matches their skill/language level. Most of the deaf students need to switch to a lower grade level than their age dictates. But they are not going to be happy about leaving their friends and who knows how the parents are going to respond….God will help us.
Thank You soo much for all your prayers and support! It has been soo awesome to receive 4 letters thus far from the U.S.! Thank You for your love!
And please continue to pray that the large mouse living in my wall leaves! Or that we are able to kill it…..