KOCHI: At the age of 40, when Alice Chacko - a former teacher at Don Bosco School in Gujarat - wanted to continue her favourite job after shifting to Kochi, she was asked to obtain a BEd first. But instead of going for it, she opted to take a different path and went for special education training to guide students with learning disorders. Today, even after retirement, she is passionately pursuing her vocation.
“During my teaching career in Gujarat, I have come across many cases where students face academic issues due to an unfriendly atmosphere at home. I used to take classes for them at home and always wanted to help kids who are backward in studies,” Alice told Express. She mentioned she applied for one-year diploma course in special education after seeing a newspaper advertisement. She joined Rajagiri School as a special education teacher in 2004 and has now joined an open school Tattwa post retirement.
Alice mentioned proper assessment is done for children to understand their difficulties whether in writing or learning or other social skills. “According to child’s difficulties, necessary training is provided. Each of this child requires individual attention to overcome their problems,” she said. Accordingly, the right teaching methods are used like mind mapping, visual and auditory techniques, different pronunciation ways and more. On joining an open school after her service, she mentioned parents’ feedback inspired her a lot to continue with the job.
“Some parents give up on their child when he/she is diagnosed with a learning disorder or become frustrated. Many of them have expressed their gratitude in giving their child the right guidance for studies, which makes me extremely happy,” Alice said. Before joining Tattwa, Alice had worked for another private school, but due to the time schedule she had to quit and she recollects how parents wanted her to get back. It is a personal joy to help those children. She added special education is an area, demanding the right focus and awareness. Alice has never separated teaching from her life and used to take tuitions before joining the new school.