Sheena Heavey

Special Needs Assisting

We were absolutely delighted to catchup with past student Sheena Heavey on how she’s getting on in her new role as a Special Needs Assistant since finishing up at Portobello Institute.

Sheena completed her Montessori, ECCE and Special Needs Assisting and firmly believes that while she did not pursue a career in Montessori Teaching, her chosen route as an SNA is fully enhanced having knowledge of the Montessori teaching method also.

Sheena secured a role in her child’s local school as a Special Needs Assistant. “Having the Major Award in ECCE and Montessori strengthens my profile and gave me the confidence to speak about my achievements and sell my full set of new early years skills to the school”.

Sheena completed the Special Needs Assistant Level 6 course and found that while completing the assignment work together with the detailed course notes she quickly began to understand the importance of the role of an SNA in assisting a child with special needs.

A key learning for Sheena was to really understand what a great support an SNA is in helping a child’s social skills by encouraging them to play with other children as much as they can.

“I found it particularly relevant to learn that the SNA equally plays a great role in ensuring other children are kind and inclusive of the child with special needs in both the classroom and in the playground. These crucial points of learning I will remember in my SNA role in a mainstream national school”.

Other core learnings for Sheena were understanding how an SNA should be able to speak calmly and effectively guiding, building trust and enabling the child to become more independent while always being aware of their limits and so that every child should have equal opportunities in the classroom in line with their level of development.

Sheena is delighted to be in a role as an SNA and feels that the knowledge gained during her studies along with associated compulsory work placement have given her a firm focus and a motivation for further study in time.

“I also have the motivation to continue to equip myself with new skills and learnings and see them as opportunities”.

She admits that she is also considering taking on some of the additional add-on courses offered by Portobello Institute, but for this academic year is focusing on using her new found knowledge and support from colleagues as she experiences the challenges and rewards that come with the job.

Spoken like a true professional, Sheena confirms that she will endeavour to assist and enhance the child’s learning experience in her new role as an SNA in whatever way she can so that these children can achieve their full potential.

We would like to take this opportunity to also wish Sheena the best of luck in her new and rewarding career in special needs assisting.  For anyone wishing to begin their journey to supporting children call us on 01 8920007.

Sheena Heavey Sheena Heavey