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Critical Incident Reflection

Week 2 27/11/15

A breakthrough was made by me this week, with one of my students. For the first two weeks
of this placement I have been tip-toeing around how to build a relationship with a Year 2
Autistic boy in my class. Having never experienced teaching a student with Autism I was
unsure about how I should speak to him, question him and encourage his learning. This week,
during silent reading time, I decided to go over and have a conversation with this boy - during
silent reading time he looks over his beloved cricket magazine. When I sat down next to him
and asked him about cricket, a smile beamed across his face and he started to tell me all about
the people in the magazine and what they were doing. It was a real bonding moment for us,
and afterwards when we went to sit back in a circle as a class, he was adamant that he wanted
to sit right next to me.
The breakthrough I had with this student was critical to me because, we had finally made a
connection and he understood that I wanted to get to know him and help him learn. It was a
turning point in our teacher-student relationship, I then felt as though he saw me as his
teacher, someone that would encourage him and have his best interests at heart. I pride myself
on being able to form relationships with the students I teach fairly quickly, yet this boy
challenged me in a good way, he made me look at my actions and the way I speak to others.
Having now initiated this relationship I could turn to this students learning and cater for him
more personally. Power and Costley (2014) reiterate, how critical it is for a pre-service
teacher to understand the learning difficulties students with Autism. Even though our
relationship is still developing, this students learning is now at the forefront of my mind
when I am planning for his ability level, which then spurs my thinking onto the needs of each
and every student in my class.
Through building this relationship with this student, I have put my own thoughts and feelings
aside and focused solely on the individual in front of me. This experience has been a stepping
stone for me on path to becoming a teacher and in my future teaching practices I will
endeavour to put as much effort into building relationship with each and every student, as I
did with this student with Autism. Throughout my studies and previous placements, I have
always known that the relationship comes first and with that the learning blossoms. Now
having seen that first hand with an individual, I know that this theory can apply to each and
every student I will teach in the future.

Words: 468

Power, A., & Costley, D. (2014). Pre-service teachers learning among students with autism
spectrum disorder. Australasian Journal of Special Education, 38(1), 34-50.