Get to Know Our Team - Maria Bennett - Telethon Speech and Hearing
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Get to Know Our Team – Maria Bennett

With a multi-disciplinary team, there are many specialists and team members involved in making sure every child develops and grows in a thriving environment.

Here is some insight from Maria Bennett, a teacher in our Talkabout program, around her special role at TSH:

My Role at TSH

I am a teacher in the Talkabout program at TSH. My role involves providing an active learning environment in order to develop the speech, language, literacy and social skills of the children I teach. I work within a multi-disciplinary team with teaching assistants, a speech pathologist, occupational therapist and psychologist to ensure that all of our children reach their full potential. My role enables me to work in partnership with our parents and mainstream teachers, providing resources and strategies to help support our children’s development both at home and within their mainstream class.

The Most Common Question That I Am Asked by Parents Is…

“Did he/she have a good day?”

I feel it is really important to have open communication with mums and dads so that they feel happy to approach me if they need to talk about how their child has been on a particular day, especially if they have arrived at school and are upset. If their child has been happy and settled throughout the day, they will participate in our activities with confidence. I am more than happy to respond to this question each day!

Something I Am Working on Now…

At the moment I am working on a new literacy program “Sounds Write “ that we are implementing within our Talkabout 5 and Literacy tutoring program. It is a structured program originally from the UK and teaches the children to develop early reading, writing and spelling skills.

We are also looking forward to working with PhD students from UWA who trailed a successful “Talk to Think” program with our T5 Classes in 2017. It involves the children developing a range of strategies to encourage them to “self-talk” through activities that enable the children to listen, stay focused, plan and problem solve. We look forward to implementing this in Term 2 with our Talkabout 5 classes.

What Aspect of Your Job Are You Most Passionate About?

The most exciting part of my job is seeing the small steps that each child achieves to reach their goals. It is amazing to see a little boy who at the beginning of the year was standing on his own not speaking to anybody, and at the end of the year is happily socialising and playing games with his friends in the playground, or the boy who has a big smile because he can read a simple sentence independently, or the little girl who stands up in front of the class to tell news to her friends using sentences and without any prompts, when at the beginning of the year she was using very few words to communicate. It is a privilege for me as a teacher to be a part of making these achievements happen.

My Favourite Word in Class Is…

“Fantastic”.

I think it is important that children should be encouraged and praised for their achievements, no matter how small. Each year, I see children developing in self-confidence when praised for their achievements. Whether it is for putting their hand up to answer a question, using words to resolve a dispute or trying hard in producing a piece of work. This self-confidence encourages our children to try new activities and explore new situations throughout their learning journey.

 


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This article was first published in Parentlink – a free, quarterly newsletter published by Telethon Speech & Hearing. Parentlink aims to provide education, news and updates to families of TSH.

Click here to view current and past issues of Parentlink or access it from in the About > Publications section of our website.