Iulia Supports Diversity and Inclusivity
Iulia Gogîia works as SENCO in our Secondary Special Educational Needs (SEN) Department. She joined the British School of Bucharest in 2015. Iulia holds a B.A. in Psychology at Titu Maiorescu University, Bucharest.
How and why did you become involved in learning support?
My first encounter with learning support was during the time I was studying for my Psychology degree and as part of the volunteer work I needed to gain experience. I started working in small nurseries in Bucharest and although the learning environment changes throughout a student’s academic life a learning disability never does and having witnessed that, I found myself drawn to those children who were having difficulty.
What made you want to join BSB?
Knowing that BSB would allow me to gain experience in this domain and provide all the necessary support needed at the start of a new chapter, combined with the celebrating differences motto and the best educational resources is what attracted me to this School.
Why did you choose to work with students with disabilities?
Throughout my personal educational progress, I noticed that I had more of an auditory learning style and that most of my peers, at that time, had a different learning style from mine. It seemed that we were all very different, learning the same thing in a different way, therefore using different learning styles. Most people have a preferred channel of learning style and I became curious to find out more on this topic and the learning process in general.
As Teachers, we are inclined to teach in the way that we like to learn, however, for students with disabilities discovering their own learning style may become a challenge. They can appear to be able and articulate but they regularly underperform in certain subjects or tasks.
I was interested in enabling young people to find ways around their difficulties and to harness their aptitudes.
What do you hope to contribute to the special education field?
Children often say that they feel a pressure to achieve in learning, often making the entire educational environment a stressful one. Finding ways to acknowledge what is stressful for any student with a learning disability and accept and find the best coping strategies for that specific student is something that I hope to develop over time. Children are curious by nature and each child has a unique way of seeing and understanding an environment, celebrating that individuality is the first step into improving any educational setting.
What's the biggest challenge/reward in working with students who require special education?
The biggest challenges lie in making students accept that a learning disability is a life disability. These disabilities do not only just interfere with School, they interfere with every aspect of their life – at home, with friends and in activities. Learning alongside children, to build on strengths while understanding and compensating for weaknesses, proved to be a great reward. Each person with a learning disability displays a different pattern of strengths, identifying those strengths alongside a pupil.
What do you love most about your job?
No child is the same as another, no lesson the same as the one before, the uniqueness of what a day may bring is what I love most about my job.
What is the greatest success you've had so far?
Helping students celebrate their success in learning in whatever form and maintaining a curiosity for information was one of the most rewarding experiences for me. In addition, working with students to devise successful learning methods along with keeping them willing to try to overcome their learning barrier offered me a great deal of satisfaction.
If you weren't a Teacher, what would your dream job be?
Being an Interior Designer would have been my dream job as I always had an interest in anything related to the home environment and the association between our personal space and our uniqueness. The space we create in our homes is a direct reflection of our personality and I would have loved to help people create their perfect home.
And finally: tell us something unexpected about yourself. I love water but I haven’t learned how to swim yet.
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