It rather gets complicated by the day to find quality special education teachers, which is why almost all states have been reporting shortages recently.
A teacher shared that she chose special education for what felt like the right reason to her… she only wanted to help students who struggle to learn, but the difficulties that arose with this chosen career path caused her to quit.
Another teacher, on the other hand, who has remained as a special educator for quite some years said: “My joy is in the classroom!”. She understood special education from a parent’s perspective especially because one of her sons had been in special education classes before. Each of her students had some learning disability; some with hearing, visual, physical and emotional impairments as well as those who had the Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Students with learning disabilities tend to have some of these common traits;
- poor auditory memory
- low tolerance and high frustration levels
- weak or low self-esteem
- difficulty to stay on tasks for extended periods of time
- lack of ability to control emotions
- easily gets confused
- poor handwriting skills
- poor concept of time
Not only will these students demand a lot of time and patience but they also require specialized instructional strategies that will support and enhance their learning potential.
The following strategies can be applied when dealing with learning disabled students;
- Give oral direction to students with reading disabilities. Present tests and reading materials in an oral format so the assessment is not unduly impacted by the absence of reading capacity.
- Give such students frequent progress checks. Tell them how well they are advancing toward an individual or class objective.
- Give prompt feedback to learning impaired students. It enables them to see the difference between what was taught and what was learned.
- Make exercises concise and short for them.
- Provide them with actual articles and events rather than theoretical terms and ideas since they may have difficulties with such.
- Whenever necessary, plan to repeat instructions or offer information in both written and verbal formats. You must indulge them to utilize as many of their sensory modalities as possible.
- Encourage cooperative learning activities. Allow students with varying abilities to work together toward a common goal.
Teachers are not alone when they’re working with special needs students. Often there are specialists, clinicians, and other experts available in the school as part of an educational team. By working together and sharing ideas, you can provide a purposeful education plan for each special needs student.
Based on: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/01/02/461590749/its-not-easy-teaching-special-ed