Parents, teachers, and all people involved in the care of a child with special needs want the best for each student, and although it can be challenging, there are several ways in which learning can be more efficient. We have to keep in mind that students with special needs will require extra time, effort and attention. Teachers should always remember the simple ways to make a child learn faster and better.
What Can A Teacher Do To Make The Learning Of Children With Special Needs More Efficient?
- Organize the classroom in a way that the students will be able to learn efficiently. Teachers should avoid too many clutter and organize teaching materials, books, tables, etc., making sure that the students can learn with the simple organization of things like the segregation of colors, use, shape, and size of learning materials in the classroom. Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D once said, “Clutter distracts us by drawing our attention away from what our focus should be on.”
Just by arranging the books alphabetically or by size, students will be able to learn the importance of orderliness and cleanliness because they promote a pattern that can make the mind work faster and better. They will learn that the organization can create a sense of peace and relaxation.
- Limit distractions by making sure the doors are always closed, free from noises and sights which can disturb the class. If students can see the people passing by, they can lose focus on what’s happening inside the classroom. They will be inattentive to the person speaking in class which will hinder their learning.
- Teachers can familiarize students with the meaning of specific sounds through music and inflection of speech through the tone of voice. They will be able to distinguish the representation of what they hear and how they are going to respond.
They can use particular music (soft and loud) to represent a task or an activity, like playing a specific tune to mean they are supposed to organize their desks and all the stuff they have used throughout the day. “Just to clarify, music therapy is the evidence-based use of music in clinical situations that help people reach desired health outcomes.” Neuropsychologist Daniel Levitin, PhD explains.
Teachers can also use tones, tenses, and infections which can help the students identify the message. Remember that students with special needs often have difficulty communicating, that’s why the verbal emphasis is essential in successfully relaying a message.
- Teachers should avoid using long and complicated words in giving out instructions. As much as possible, they should give directions that are easy to understand, or they can use symbols or signs to mean an action like an arrow to point at something or a stop sign meaning time is up.
- Teachers should also make tasks manageable. They should never give long and exhausting activities. As much as possible, create some variety but simplify each task, like instructing students to draw their favorite food or draw and use colors freely according to how they feel. They can ask the students to organize learning materials according to their shapes, colors, and sizes or as simple as arranging the chairs properly.
These are simple yet efficient ways teachers should implement in a classroom of children with special needs. Their environment should be able to match and nurture their abilities.
What Can The Teachers Do Ensure The Best For The Students?
- Teachers should be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the students to be able to come up with the most reliable approach that will help in ensuring the best for their students. It is their responsibility to know and nourish the skills of the students.
By being able to identify the students’ strengths and being able to help them, the teacher is giving them an equal opportunity at life. Students with special needs will feel the sense of achievement that they will develop self-love and self-esteem.
- Teachers should promote a positive influence on the students. They should be motivation and inspiration. As much as possible, they should never display any negative attitude and should always remain calm in any given situation. They should reflect on what the students should act and behave. Even the way they dress and the way they take care of their things can provide a significant impact on how the students will view the people and things around them.
- “Technology conditions the brain to pay attention to information very differently than reading.” That is according to Jim Taylor Ph.D. Use technology for learning like letting them watch fables and stories that will teach them moral lessons. There are also various educational videos which can aid in developing the mind of the students. It could stimulate their comprehension. They will also learn to distinguish right from wrong and have an idea of how to handle particular situations.
Teaching students with special needs take a lot of effort and patience. There are many factors and considerations to make which will contribute to the students’ learning process. It is vital that the environment, activities, and moods are fit to their strengths and weaknesses. It will ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to be the best that he can be.