DESCRIPTION OF THE EXPERIENCE
The school year 2012-2013, High School “Alexandru cel Bun” Botoșani.
Mihaela is 17 years old and she is a student in the 11th grade, where I am a form master. After I have discussed with her, I found that her family has very serious social and economic problems, because his father was dead and her mother is ill and the only source of income is the survivorship pension.
However, the mother wants her daughter to keep attending school. The family lives in rural area, the other two sisters are married. Mihaela lives in town at one of the sisters and she was transferred to High School “Alexandru cel Bun” from another school from the Botoșani County.
During the first days of school, Mihaela’s mother came to me and told me about her problems, asking me to help her.
1. The first step of intervention was to get acquainted with the problems which Mihaela faced, identified after the taking the initial tests, reading the observation cards of her behavior in the classroom and of course after discussing with Mihaela and her mother.
2. The problems which Mihaela faced and the main needs are: from the medical point of view – locommotor physical impairments – the left leg is shorter; from the psycho – pedagogical point of view – increase of the studying motivation, development of the self - knowledge skills, increase of the self – confidence, encouragement to express the emotions, improvement of the cooperation skills and the team work, offering of the feed-back in time and in an efficient way; from the school skills’ point of view: knowledge of basic general school subjects (especially mathematics), structuring of some contents about technical school subjects, using some basic skills (to measure, to sketch, to draw, to reproduce, to recognize), correct understanding of the tasks from the worksheets or laboratory cards and of the solving algorithm, development of the creativity.
3. I discussed with Mihaela about this evaluation and she admitted that the problems are real. This was the second and the most important step, because in this way I was sure that Mihaela would be involved in what I would plan for her.
4. The third step to help Mihaela was building a support team consisting of the head-teacher, psychologist, mother and the management team.
After the identification of the requirements and knowledge of the Mihaela’s problems, I went on to the next step: I conceived an individual intervention program and I set the objectives: growing self-confidence through self-knowledge, cooperation in team activities, communication and expressing her emotions, creativity, improving professional basic acquisitions and practical skills (to measure, to sketch, to draw, to reproduce, to recognize); improvement of the task understanding and interpretation from worksheets or laboratory cards.
In order to accomplish the objectives, the contents included in the program are: psychological counseling – one hour per week, professional counseling for the school subjects where she faces difficulties – 2 hours per week, involvement in the activities within the projects „Global Education Week” (October 2012) and „Your Chances Festival” (November 2012).
The strategies used in the program as a result of the establishment of a working program and compliance with the program, Mihaela’s including in laboratory activities to work in team and to solve specific tasks, her involvement in the project activities, was rewarded with a diploma.
- During the intervention program, Mihaela’s mother was very interested in the program development.
- In order to assess and appreciate the progress made by Mihaela, I established some minimal criteria: improving the self trust and the positive interrelation with at least four classmates, identifying the ways to develop self image, participating to all the recommended activities.
For the assessment I used some methods and tools, for example: direct and indirect observation, assessment grid for the social behavior, school results.
The first results was observed after the semester testing period, when Mihaela got acceptable results. Then I saw that Mihaela was more confident in her own abilities, she developed creativity proved through some new ideas expressed by her during the discussions at the counseling classes, she made friends within her class.
Strengths used during the program: attending school, the wish to be involved in the school life, support from her mother.
Weaknesses: Mihaela fails to create an appropriate rhythm within the working group, she can’t solve the school tasks in a reasonable time because of lack of knowledge.
At the end of the school year, Mihaela graduated with 7,20 and managed to integrate in the classroom, making two friends already.
I think I am a lucky one because I could help Mihaela and I managed to bring a hope in her life and her mother’s life too.