Trying to find better ways to teach students has always been my interest since starting to teaching almost 11 years ago. I’ve always wanted to help as much as I can especially those who are not supported as much as they could have due to their needs, their family or a lack of a strong teacher.
For the past four weeks, I’ve been taking a course on helping students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) such as dyslexia, ADHD, Autism… I thought I’d learn the secret; the key to helping. I came away with something more important: what I’m doing is right. There is no “special” way but only good instruction with more intensity for those who need it most. Students with physical limitations need support for those issues but mentally it’s all about good engaging instruction.
Good instruction means not relying on textbook, having task based lessons with meaning. Connecting students to the story or activity they are doing. Having a focus to the lesson beyond mechanics (spelling and grammar). Building self-esteem for all students. It’s these key elements but also the patience and understanding for learner a, regardless of age or ability.
My only issue with the course is I wish I had taken the course in August, before the academic year, so I could used some of the new techniques sooner.