After eight months in school, it’s finally over.
It felt surreal being back in class for our last day. It felt like so much time had passed since I last saw my classmates, yet its only been one month. I learned so much during the practicum that going back to school for one final day seemed anti-climactic.
It was good catching up with my classmates and seeing how everyone was doing. On the last day of school we all shared our practicum experiences as well as reflecting on our journey in the Community Support Worker program. The program reminded me how important it is to make the most of your time and the opportunities in front of you. Time goes by so fast. It’s easy to just be wait for something to happen. It’s a lot harder to make bold decisions and to really plan your future but I’m very happy and lucky to have discovered the field of community support work. I know that my career will change a few times but I will always take the educational experiences I’ve learned from school and put into practical use the tools I’ve developed as a Community Support Worker.
What prepared me the most about being a Community Support Worker was the one-day-a-week practicum that we had for 15 weeks as well as the intensive one month practicum that we just finished. I learn best when I am physically doing work as opposed to reading or hearing about it. Reading about Down Syndrome or Autism from an online article or a textbook is not the same as conversing with an individual or supporting someone with Down Syndrome or Autism during an activity. I learn best by doing, so that is why the practicum was very important to my growth as a Community Support Worker.
Knowing the history and the theory regarding the various aspects of community support work is very beneficial once you are in the field. But its very hard to recall the theory and the education I learned in school once I started to work. The concepts and principles I learned in school served as a starting point for me to do my own research in school. One of my favourite courses was Professional Communication. I learned how important active listening and reading body language is not just for support workers but for everyone. After the course was finished I would read articles that discussed topics regarding communication and listening because my curiosity was piqued by something I learned in school.
Yes, the school is responsible for educating and equipping students with proper information and providing relevant practicum experience so that we can succeed once we graduate. But, as a student, I owe it to myself to learn on my own and invest in my education outside of school as well. Learning never stops. Having a positive attitude towards learning and challenging yourself is hard work, but you will reap rewards in the future if you plan on moving up in your career.
I’m very thankful to all the teachers, staff and the practicum monitors for their support and guidance and I sincerely hope everyone in my class will be able to work that is meaningful and work that affirms their skills and passion.