So You Want My Job?
Donna gives us a lesson on working with from the heart.
Name: Zyphenie Donna Chai
Age: 28 Job: Special Education Teacher
What made you choose this line of profession?
I had very limited knowledge about special needs children until my aunt introduced me to The Learning Connection Sdn Bhd (TLC). It’s a centre that caters to children with special needs and it’s where I developed my passion to teach students with disabilities. I started as a practical student and currently work as one of the head teachers at the centre.
The sweetest thing a student has ever done for you would be ...
When a nine-year-old autistic boy with speech delay said my name for the first time and hugged me at my farewell party. It meant so much because in the two years I taught this boy I’ve never heard a word from him until then.
What course did you pursue to get into this field?
I did my bachelors degree in psychology, majoring in child and family psychology at University Malaysia Sabah. And then my masters of education in special education at University of New South Wales, Australia.
A typical day at work would be?
In a special education setting, everyday is different. Some days are good and some days can be very challenging but this is why I love my job. There are no boring routines and every moment is unpredictable.
What's the best part of your job?
I’ve learned to appreciate life by being around these beautiful kids. No matter what goes on in my personal life, once these kids are in front of me, my brain switches to work mode. I need to make sure that they’re safe and learning successfully and at the
What are some of the challenges you face as a teacher?
In school, we have to deal with various challenging behaviours but t having the support of colleagues really helps. Outside of school, we have to deal with community acceptance. People stare during our outdoor activities, some avoid us but sometimes we do get to meet nice people. Our societyy still lacks awareness regarding disabilities but the centre holds activities to promote awareness.
“78 9: ; <=> @w to be ;Ay, BCE, F GHJKN no "#$ at.”
awaren esson Raising meDay.
Syndro World Down
A class that eats together, sticks together! same time recognise their strengths hs and bring out the best in them. When lessons get tough, they kick back to relax.
Class is in session ssion Donna’s students all geared up in their CNY best.