I told her what's happening at school. She got emotional and teary because she did not think we were talking about the same child. I was really proud of that because I did not expect this person will be able to actually talk at all.
You're listening to the Still Curious Podcast with me, Danu Poyner. My guest today is Travis Yuan who is a special education teacher based in Auckland, New Zealand. Travis migrated from Taiwan and trained as an early childhood educator before later moving into special education. In this episode, we discuss the day-to-day realities of leading a classroom full of kids with special needs and why it's so important to adapt and improvise.
It changes daily. When one or two or all the students set off by something we have to throw out the plan for that day. My mind is constantly planning and thinking what's going to happen in the next 10, 20 minutes.
Travis shares his views on free play approaches and the similarities and differences between early childhood education and special education.
The students show you their interest and then you plan along the journey to guide them to go further and to go up a level. If you just dump a basket of blocks on the table for them to do whatever they want, that's not intentional planned experience.
We also discuss Travis's experience of migrating from Taiwan and why it matters to him to follow his own path.
I figured out that's the only way I can actually get out of the system as soon as possible, to do well at school so no one will actually bother me, and let me do what I want to do.
It's a fun, fascinating and surprising conversation. I learned a lot. I hope you will too. Enjoy! It's Travis Yuan coming up right after the music break on today's episode of the Still Curious Podcast.