As Timmy sits at the computer and reminisces about the end of the school year, he can’t help but feel happy. He has met so many wonderful people this year and participated in so many unique classroom activities that a smile is permanently affixed upon his face. This year has marked a first for Timmy! His popularity has seen him out and about the province with non-stop visits to Mount Currie, Mill Bay, Chilliwack and Maple Ridge, to name a few. His scrapbook is filled with smiling photos of the new friends he has made on his school visits. Along the way, he has explored a helicopter, visited a fair, and taken part in circle and story time. He has happily sat beside students in groups, providing the silent support that only he can give.
Originally Timmy travelled with a camera and a package of teaching resources. As things progressed we added books, games and switch-adapted toys to his suitcase of accessories. New to Timmy’s suitcase of available accessories this year is an iPad loaded with accessible books for students and Timmy to enjoy together. This has proven to be a popular request when he goes out. Along with the iPad, actual books and audio books are also available.
The camera is used by students to record their experiences and use these photos for writing and sharing. It is also used by teachers and support providers to document the classroom experience with Timmy, and add to the scrapbook which has been filled to overflowing! We are always excited when Timmy comes back to SET-BC. We rush to look at the camera card and the scrapbook. Our “Oohs,” and “Aahs” can be heard throughout the office.
It has been wonderful to see a concept become a reality and the reality to have such meaning for our students. In the case of Timmy Technology, the provincial centre staff was searching for a way to encourage the students and their teams to become familiar with their assistive technology and to learn to implement it into classroom and community activities . We wanted something that would engage students and give them a focus for writing, collaborating, and socializing. We brainstormed ideas and came up with the concept of a mascot or ambassador who could travel around to different parts of the province. We settled on the idea of a stuffed toy, (although Timmy would hate to have himself referred to as that), who represented the AT community. While Timmy is a stuffed toy, he is no stuffed shirt! He loves his interactions with the students of BC and is looking forward to visiting again next year. Thank you to all the teams that opened your classrooms and your hearts to Timmy!