During my 3rd year of teaching at the university an incident I encountered changed my outlook towards teaching. As an ICT teacher, I was in the computer lab instructing the students to complete the project. The students were engrossed in their work, but one student in the lab behaved very differently from others, his behaviour was very disruptive as he started banging the mouse. When I approached him, he was very apologetic. The minute I attended to the needs of other students, he again repeated and shouted abuse. I had to pause and take him into another room for counselling while the rest continued. He admitted that he needed extra attention and did not understand what was going on in the class. The senior teachers in the department later informed me that he was an epileptic patient, who sometimes ended up with mild seizures in the classroom due to which he completely forgets what he had done previously to his seizure.
This was totally new to me, I had to research about Epilepsy and the learning strategies for epileptic students. I gave a good thought and devised a new teaching strategy for epileptic learners where all the activities to be done were numbered and once the activity was complete, I told the epileptic learner to tick the activity so that he knew where to start from lest he had seizures in the middle of his work. I also learnt from the research that epileptic learners often sought for extra attention, therefore I spent extra time with the learner giving extra help with new topics. This not only helped the learner but also gave me immense satisfaction that I was able to devise new strategies and make a difference in the learning journey of a student who much needed it.
Ms. Agnes Benjamin
ICT Facilitator, International Centre for Excellence