Hi! I’m Sammi. I’m an Instructor at our Whitemoor Lakes Activity Centre. I have been an Instructor now for 5 years and there is a reason why I always come back for more!
During my career as an Outdoor Instructor I have met thousands upon thousands of young people, every single one of them each with their own personalities, skills and abilities. Being an instructor allows you to connect with new people every single day, it allows you to be a person who helps others conquer their fears, it allows you to help young people achieve things they never imagined they could.
But I want to talk about some very special people. People I have made a difference to in their lives and in turn they have also made a difference in my life. Working at Whitemoor Lakes allows me to work with a variety of people, including young people who do have special educational needs. Although this can be more challenging it is a part of my working life that I will never want to give up and I will never forget.
Everyone is equal at Whitemoor lakes from the staff members to the young people and teachers who come through our doors every single day. Our motto is Releasing Potential and that is exactly what we do. Everyone who walks through our doors is equal to us and everyone can achieve something. I personally love working alongside individuals with special education needs and this is why.
Not only does it mean something personally to me as a lot of my family have special educational needs, but it is so emotionally fulfilling. When you connect with a child who is struggling to achieve something and you show them a different way that allows them to achieve that end goal, their face is just priceless and it really is just an overwhelming feeling. I get to earn a special place in people’s hearts and become someone who they trust and acknowledge. I get to watch young people achieve goals that they didn’t believe that they could achieve, just by adapting an activity session slightly so that it suits the needs of that young person.
I have been working with a special education school this year. They come in weekly to see me and bring 12 of their young students to our outdoor centre for some learning in a different environment and a different style than the classroom. I have watched these young people grow through this year and become so confident. From the first time they walked in, looking at the floor not wanting to say much to me, to now running to the doors shouting my name when they see me. I have watched them come together as a team and build up their friendships, I have watched them tackle challenges together and smash goals every single week!
Just from having a little extra patience and the willingness to adapt an activity to suit them, it has allowed me to grow with this group and change my perspective on a lot of things. They have shown me how to appreciate the very little things that are usually taken for granted, they have made me laugh more than anyone this year and they have given me the responsibility of helping these young people to achieve absolutely anything they want to.
I love working with SEN students and pupils and I always will do.