It has only been a day since we last spoke, and we wanted to let you know that today was a great systematic instruction day at Sathi Sansar! We had further opportunity to spend time with many amazing students and passionate staff. Upon learning that the school did not have a vocational program, we knew that we would need to get creative and work with the staff to find the most beneficial use of time for all parties.
We set up three different stations to show students and staff the value of systematic instruction. First, a sorting station to teach sequence, matching, counting and securing lids to containers. Second, a station for learning to use natural cues on a scale to insert batteries, scoop a lentil snack, weigh, and combine into one consolidated container and seal. Third, a napkin folding station to show natural cues, sequence, dexterity, etc. All the while, staff observed and translated to students when needed. During each session, there we’re many opportunities to converse with staff about training techniques, reducing verbal prompting, the power of physical prompting, and the importance of fading prompts by teaching to the exiting cues within the task.
The director invited the staff to observe and participate today and tomorrow. We met with Luni, at the end of today to discuss the set up for tomorrow. She agreed that it would be useful to lead a hands-on training with staff to show them systematic instruction and to collaborate to find beneficial ways to support two specific students who need additional support from teachers. Specifically, Luni explained that staff are having difficulty in assessing the skills of these two students, so this will be one of our main focuses for tomorrow as well. Also, today we will complete a list of guidelines for training under the systematic instruction model and email to Luni. She will translate the list and explain to staff in the morning before we lead the training.
We also decided to create a jig for tomorrow’s training at the napkin folding station. Due to the type of the fabric, the task was challenging during many of the sessions. This is also a great training opportunity to show how teaching can be adapted and improved with an assistive device. We explained how this idea pans out in our coaching during job set ups. Sometimes it is not possible to change the task completely because of requirements of the business. For instance, if a restaurant orders napkins in bulk that turn out to be an imperfect square and wishes to keep them, it is the job of the trainer to design an adaptive way to support the customer to complete the task and to maintain quality.
Today was a great day. Although Sathi Sansar does not have a vocational program, our time here is well spent in this direction and we very much look forward to working more here tomorrow.