“Educate the students so they become quality persons
possessing wisdom and inner stability, And nurture them until they become well-rounded persons.”
Serviam, a symbol of Ursuline schools around the world, which Mother General M. St. Jean Martin entrusted to Ursuline students everywhere in 1931. Serviam should be the emblems in Ursuline students’ hearts throughout their lives.
The Serviam symbol consists of a cross and seven stars.
The cross represents Christ's campaign to serve all mankind, the service of Jesus Christ by submitting to his death on the cross. It is the ultimate expression of love and sacrifice that any person can make for others.
The seven stars on the Serviam symbol represent Saint Ursula, patroness of the Ursuline Order.
This Serviam motto is the focal point of the Order of the Ursulines' hopes for all its students. It is to instill in every alumna an imitation of Christ in the service of God, nation and fellow human beings.
Background of special education management at Mater Dei College
Schools that do not select students for admission with the aim of accepting only talented children who can learn easily, will inevitably find a number of students who are unable to study equally with their peers in the amount of time required. Mater Dei College is a school that does not accept specific students who are confident that learning is easy and fast. Therefore, there will always be students who have some difficulties in learning, more or less in each class while in the past, the knowledge of special education was insufficient and widespread. Teachers are burdened with chil-dren who need a different way of learning. Some teachers were able to find a way but teachers who can't find a special way to help, have to let the students follow their studies in the classroom on their own. Of course, the students’ grades are not good, and in the past, classes were even stipulat-ed for repetition.
A different focus on teaching and learning for students in need of special attention likely occurred around the 1987 school year, with the school receiving assistance from former students who are mothers who found since the child has not attended school that the child has a slower development than children of the same age. Father Jean Barry SJ., who at that time was a regular professor at the Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University (Chulalongkorn does not have a Faculty of Psychology) had given advice and assistance. He said that special education should be one of the missions of Catholic schools. Father's team at the Faculty of Education, Chulalongkorn University that provides assistance to most of the school consists of a former student of the 32nd generation, Ajarn Niramon Chayutsahakit who advises teachers many times, both at the teachers' collective meeting and with the teachers teaching these children. Later, when the number of school guidance teachers in-creased, it has been an important team to take care of students who need different learning. Dr. Irene Suphangsen, a former student of the 37th year, is an ophthalmologist at the Children's Hospital. She advised the guidance teachers to study at the hospital's treatment department and probably most of the guidance teachers have given time to study at the Children's Hospital. During the sum-mer semester, the school also invited the education officer to advise the school on the regulations in the management of special education.
When Miss Rujanee Kanitthanon, an elementary English teacher who is a former student of the 44th year of the school was glad to retire from teaching English for the whole class to take care of only the learning of the students with special needs. The school therefore arranged a room for Teacher Rujanee at the Primary Building to create a small learning center and named it Saint Anne's Learning Center. The sisters and teachers united to ask Saint Anne, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary to be a patron of the school's educational center for children with special needs. When Teacher Rujanee started this work, Sister Colleen from Australia, Sister Francis Xavier Bell's friend, OSU, had volun-teered to help teaching English and training English teachers for kindergarten and elementary school at the school. Teacher Rujanee learned, consulted and received a lot of advice from Sister Colleen in both teaching and production as well as using different media to stimulate students' learning. Teacher Rujanee focuses on English as the main priority and the children have good development and love to learn English. While the director arranges for teachers of other subjects to take care of these students together with the guidance teachers for monitoring, there are not many students with special needs. In addition, there are also two students who are accompanied by special education teachers at the school the whole school each year. Studying the number of students with different learning needs, there are less than 15. The school does not publish the announcement for students who require special education because the school is not ready to take care of them individually in large numbers. Therefore, this group of students came from the parents who contacted for help in advance. But most of the time the teachers who teach young children find out for themselves when the children come to school and when it is clear that some children have special needs, the school director then invites parents for a consultation. There are also high school students who have psy-chological problems that need to be separated from their normal classrooms alone or in small groups.
When Miss Rujanee retired, the care of children with different learning needs remained with Teacher Tinamari who gave importance to each child and together with the guidance teachers by creating the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) for each student and adding teachers to help teach indi-vidual students and a subgroup. The rooms used for teaching these children are scattered every-where with a guidance room as the center. It works a full circle from attending classes to observing students in self-control, communication method, socialization and interaction with peers. These were assessed in order to select subjects, content, organize teaching and learning schedules in accordance with learning styles in order to reach the destination to promote both Academic and Life Skills. It al-so takes into account the elimination of stimuli, setting up an exam environment that facilitates the students to perform the exams to the best of their abilities. The aim was also to promote and de-velop outstanding characteristics according to students' aptitudes to realize their own values, and to encourage readiness to use their potential to the fullest and make continuous efforts to improve themselves.
Sometimes the cause of the students’ need for special care is a mental illness for which the guid-ance room received the kindness of Professor Emeritus Dr. Wanphen Boonprakob, a former stu-dent and former professor of psychiatry at Siriraj gave the school one day a week when she retired, to serve as a consultant to the guidance teachers mainly. Later, the professor asked to stop in order to help raise her grandchildren abroad. But when encountering the case of students that are too difficult for our knowledge and experience, the school contacted Dr. Phennee Lorwattanapongsa when she worked at Manarom Hospital. Dr. Phennee was a student of St. Joseph Convent and is the founder of the Center for Developing Manarom Skills. The professor was kindly requested to super-vise students whose mentors needed help from specialists. In addition to accepting students with problems as patients in her care, Professor Pennee was also able to help the school to coordinate with parents and suggest ways to treat students and parents in a systematic, clear and focused way to solve problems. Later, Dr. Phennee got a job as the first director of Mahidol University Internation-al Demonstration School in 2012 and passed away a few years later. The guidance room had to find new assistance from 2-3 former students with expertise continuously, namely Ms. Benjaporn Tanta-sut, a former student of class 68, and Ms. Woranan Prasert-Meth, a former student of class 57.
In the academic year 2019, the Sisters arranged for the repair of the Provincialate with the necessity of the water system and the electricity which have not changed for more than 10 years, At that time the school asked the Provincial whether it was possible or not that the Sisters would allow the school to use the ground floor of the 4-storey building of Saint Angela house, the center house of the Ursulines in Thailand, as the school's Saint Anne's Learning Center. Sister Thipkanok Prasopchok-chai, the Provincial, received the request of the school for consideration in the Provincial Council and the answer that she was happy to let the school use it, was relayed to the school without delay.
Ms. Wantanee Wangboonsakul, an interior designer, has worked to help the school design and reno-vate rooms for a long time since her daughter was still studying at the school until her daughter graduated and worked as a decorator like her mother. She then volunteered to design the new space by talking to the school about the needs of different classrooms. Wipha Jeakjerm, who is a former student and now an architect, is helping with the project of landscape design for new learning and construction of early childhood school buildings. This part of the assignment is given to the team working primarily for the school, and she assists in many parts of the work.
Saint Anne's Learning Center is ready to be a little home with 4-5 small classrooms, conference room, art classroom and cooking class inside the big house that is the second home of Mater Dei College students from the feast day of Saint Anne 26 July 2021.
Notes of guidance teachers
Imperfect perfection, the uniqueness of each person is the absolute perfection. Although there are comparisons to understand that some students are not perfect. But the opportunity to take care of all special students opens up a world of learning. The guidance team is honored from the very be-ginning to be trusted by parents to give teachers space. The guides have listened to information sharing for mutual consultations in the network of special students’ mothers.
When cooperating with teachers, the admirable quality team recognizes clearly the willingness to sacrifice time, dedication, giving kindness, caring and encouraging students. Each teacher understands the difference in students, the need for flexibility in teaching, and uses a variety of teaching aids and evaluation materials. The guidance teachers therefore have not given up their efforts since selecting the subjects, content always in arranging the schedule and teaching according to the learning style of each individual student for the purpose of promoting learning both academically and life skills for students.
Receiving guidance from a doctor or specialist how to observe students, follow-up to class, self-control, communication, socializing and interaction with friends by cutting out stimuli and creating an exam environment that allows students to perform at their best including other aspects since ele-mentary school up to high school developed sequentially until it can be discovered, promote and develop outstanding characteristics according to their aptitudes and abilities. Students become aware of their own worth, making full use of their potential and continually striving for self-improvement.
Working with special students is not about helping students, but being grateful for the opportunity God has given to mentors to learn invaluable hands-on experience, challenging endurance, planning towards goals that are more fun and creative than can be found in academic textbooks alone. When students smile their eyes show satisfaction with their work, their friends acknowledge their unique talent. Teachers have found a particularly captivating and impressive perspective, bringing content-ment to being a part of supporting the beautiful growth of students.
Thanks to the teachers for the opportunity to meet the students who are diligent. Even though their eyesight is dim, they have persistence in their study path to complete a master's degree abroad.
Thanks to the teacher for the opportunity to follow and read the story of the strong fight from un-dergoing countless surgeries and often sending special beautiful words from the ability to compose both Thai and English on various occasions.
Thanks to the teachers for the opportunity to have fun and learn the principles. How to care with understanding the nature and movement of various pets.
Thank you for always giving compliments to the teachers. The beautiful voice of the teacher when she reads aloud the Thai language test and compliments the teacher to float upwards, saying, “Teacher read English with a better accent than foreign teachers because I listened to the teacher's scrappy British accent and I understood.”
Thank you for caring when the teachers are sick, training how to maintain good health for teachers to take good care of themselves and always follow up and ask questions.
Thanks to the teacher for the opportunity to be a model for a cameraman with a special perspec-tive. The light and shadow selected to help teachers to be as beautiful as professional models.
July 26, 2021