Special Education Students In The Classroom: How To Effectively Teach Them

1157775_school_mumHolly writes:

I am a nineteen year old (3rd yr) secondary education student (yrs 8-12 ) at the University of Queensland in Australia. I have read the above comments and would love with your permission to use some of your comments as a reference (In which you will be quoted) in a case study /research report I am writing on Aspergeís (Task Outcome: A written Report reporting the procedures for preparing and conducting a face-to-face interview and integrating the outcomes/findings of the interview with the ideas from the academic literature and research.)
On this blog I have found your opinions to be very informative and would be very appreciative if you could tell me some teaching methodís you have used in the past which have had a positive influence on sped studentís. I am an English Literature and History student teacher and am undertaking Special education classes because I have grown up in a community where I have been ďshelteredĒ in a private school (and am only familiar with adhd) and would like to be rid of my ignorance. I have interviewed a few parentís with children who have aspergerís and would now like to get some teacherís opinions possible. Thank you so much for your time!

This actually raises a couple of points for me.

First of all, the issue of special education students
In my response to her, I noted that I do not have a whole lot of opportunities to work with special education students. I suppose it’s because of the nature of instrumental music, but the limited exposure I have to these kids, whatever methods I may use to get them to learn are probably not transferrable to most everyday classroom settings. So I’m going to toss this issue out to my readers again and can’t wait to hear your responses.

On a side note: When I have done this kind of thing in the past, The questions I post usually generate between 5 and 10 responses. Sometimes they’ll go crazy and get 15. Now, this site has been getting over 1,000 hits a day for a while, and we have a community of right around 850 subscribers. With numbers like those, I would hope to see more response. Even if you post anonymously, I would love to hear teaching ideas you have for special education students. Or even other questions you might have.

The second issue this comment raises
Since both of these issues are likely to produce a good bit of comments and I don’t want them getting mixed up, I’m posting the second issue on its own individualized post. Check it out here: Should All Great Blogs Have A Comments Policy?

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

4 Comments on Special Education Students In The Classroom: How To Effectively Teach Them

  1. I have taught special ed for about 30 years and I don’t think one strategy works above others. I think you need to look at the individual student’s needs and teach to that. Investigate with the student to find out strategies that help the student be successful. I really believe in Universal Design for Learning and Project Based Learning. There are lots of good strategies out there but it all depends on the student. If the students feel the lesson is relevant to their lives, they will complete the lessons appropriately.

  2. I’ve only had the opportunity to sub for a special ed class during meetings and such but the thing I think makes a huge difference is caring about the students and having high expectations. High expectations doesn’t mean out of their reach, but high for what they are capable of doing. Always expect them to do well. Another thing I see in a certain teacher is that they degrade their students’ abilities in front of them and treat like they are lazy. Now I know what tough love is, but I don’t think this is the same. Taking a interest in who they are and what’s going on in their life makes a huge difference no matter the needs of the student.

  3. I have been in that game for around 30 plus years, and the thing that strikes me most is that even though kids are labeled, they all have the same right to as much education as they can handle. Of course, since this is a matter of degree, that could go anywhere to learning to sit on a toilet to calculating a physics problem. It depends on the type and extent of the disability. That is also what makes this business so fascinating, since being a Special Educator can be so many things. I have had the good fortune to have worked with kids at both extremes, and can’t say I like or dislike one more than the other. They each have their positives and negatives. But the truth is I have been able to feel that someone has had a better way to go because of my small help through a day, a better way to write a story, a new method for putting their shoelaces together, or even a more efficient means of bringing the spoon up to the mouth.
    So I recommend special education, if for nothing else than the vast opportunity to get with so many different kids over ones career.

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