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After the parents, teachers are the cornerstone of a child’s development. We all know how noble a job teaching is and the difficulties and challenges involved in this profession is hard to ignore. In addition to instilling learning capabilities and paving the way for a better education, teachers offer inspiration and motivation for a child to achieve success outside the classroom as well. However, when it comes to children with special needs, teachers need to go the extra mile and for this, they need to possess some key characteristics that can help them deal with cognitive and physical disorders.
As we can understand, dealing with a special needs child takes an incredible amount of strength, dedication, and patience and not everyone can deal with the stress that comes with it. If you’re interested in taking up a role as a special education teacher but are worried if you would be able to cope with it, here are five secrets to being a great teacher for special needs children.
When dealing with a child with special needs, patience is an absolute must. It’s important to understand that such children will take longer to perform even simple activities and no matter how long the child will take, a special education teacher should give the child enough time to complete the particular task. This may be frustrating for the child involved as well and this is precisely why you need to create a cheerful environment with appropriate teaching aids to empower and encourage the child further.
Children have their own learning styles and a good special needs teacher should be able to adapt lessons based on an individual child’s strengths. Some kids may be socially active but could have difficulties with motor skills and certain other children may function well but their social skills may be difficult. Work with the advantages of the child and try to incorporate creative ways to accommodate their needs. To do this effectively, a special needs teacher should be well aware of the most effective teaching methodologies.
When dealing with disabled children, the organization is a vital element. When children are taught in an organized environment, it can boost their confidence too. Some ways to become more organized include using colour coded files and books, keeping a careful record of the student’s accomplishments and so on.
Many special needs children experience difficulties in expressing their feelings. This communication barrier can cause them to become withdrawn, feel overwhelmed and even act negatively and aggressively. A good special needs teacher will always use his/her intuitive skills to understand the underlying reasons behind poor behavior and deal with them in a very calm manner. Having a calm temperament would also calm the child down, release anxiety and make the child feel safe.
A special needs teacher will work with children with different problems but no matter what the issue is, the teacher should accept all the children and interact with them with the utmost love, respect, and dignity. Even children who cannot communicate properly will be quick to identify negative vibes from teachers and this can hinder their performance greatly. The key is to create a sense of value within the class so all children feel accepted which in turn will play a huge role in enabling them to gain success.