During our weekly Wednesday Professional Development time our Elementary Teacher Assistants attended a special training session led by our UNIS Hanoi Speech and Language Therapist, Mr. Brian Walker.
Brian holds a Social Thinking Level A Clinical Training Certificate, which allows him to upskill faculty members in their skills and understandings relating to social emotional learning and self-regulation in young people.
“Social thinking is the process by which we interpret the thoughts, beliefs, intentions, emotions, knowledge and actions of another person along with the context of the situation to understand that person’s experience. … Essentially, we use social thinking whenever we think about the perspective of another person.”
“There is a difference between the emotions children feel and show, and the behavior that they show us. Our job as adults is to understand our students deeply, and to guide their social interactions with others using consistent language and a framework that allows them to be successful.” – Brian Walker
Investing in quality professional development in our teacher assistants provides immeasurable positive outcomes, because our teacher assistants work closely and in highly supportive ways, with all students in our school.
Mr. Walker’s presentation covered 10 Key Social Thinking ideas and cognitively challenged our Teacher Assistants to think about and reconsider how we can continue to differentiate our strategies that we use to support students. It became apparent through Brian’s lively presentation that the language we use with students frames, not only for them but also for ourselves as adults, how we solve problems and respond to children when they become emotional at school.
The feedback from our Teacher Assistants was clear; they requested another session to continue learning with Mr. Walker in this important and progressive methodology.