Patience is a virtue
Time is the healer
Blend these two
To be a special educator
A successful special educator creates relationships.
She or he nurtures the child as a little flower and heals the little wounds that the child has picked while growing up. The secret lies in blending patience and time together to blossom the little bud into a beautiful flower.
The success of an educator lies when the child learns to be independent.
This is a mammoth task and requires support and coordination of all the supporting adults. To embark on this journey, one needs the virtue of being patient.
Patience can not only keep the mental well-being of the child in place as the child learns to value the love of the teacher but also instil the lost confidence which the child had gained since the beginning of the academic learning.
In a classroom, among multiple faces and various talents, children with special needs are often ignored and always highlighted as the child with poor cognitive skill. The teacher therefore differentiates his/ her work by giving worksheets with lower order thinking skills justifying that higher order cannot be achievable. Agreed to an extent, but:
How about keeping the same questions, but cutting down the number of chapters?
How about giving ample number of practices before moving to the next topic?
How about creating a worksheet with visual overlays that helps in learning quicker?
How about answering the same question for the hundredth time?
How about being patient to understand the child?
The answer to all these lies in blending patience and time. It also requires a blended approach and improved coordination between the classroom teacher and the special educator who need to compliment each other.
We know that in a general classroom a teacher cannot give the additional individualised focus time. Therefore, the special educator steps in to help the child with more time and patience to understand that same topic. The approaches of pull-out and push-in is critical and hence more time should be allocated for pull-out sessions for letting the child learn the study units better.
We need to be more scientific in our approach to special educational needs. We need more measurable yardsticks for learning within the department of SEND.
The cycle of Plan - Do - Assess - Review is the core element for teaching children with special educational needs.
To sum up, our real success is measured in enablement of blooming the flowers and not just providing a support for the flowers to bloom, which is one part of it.
Be an educator with a difference!