Special Reports

4 Lessons That Special Ed Teachers Can Use For Students With Learning Challenges


Teaching is already challenging enough. Teaching students with learning challenges is another matter altogether. Special education teachers need to be more supportive of the kids and more nurturing.

According to Teach.com, those who want to become special education teachers need to earn their bachelor's degree first. It usually takes about four years and will train teachers-to-be on how to provide students with the resources and materials that can help them learn effectively.

Moreover, earning a master's degree in Special Education would equip teachers-to-be on how to better handle learning disabilities, behavior disorders, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, low-incidence disabilities (such as blindness, deafness, deaf-blindness, multiple disabilities) and early childhood special education.

In a TED Ed blog post, Laura McClure highlighted Karen Goepen-Wee, an English Language Arts teacher from Canada, and her project named LearnAbilities. It is a digital collection of resources that Goepen-Wee finds useful for her students, their teachers and parents. The collection provides accurate, teacher-approved information on a variety of topics including anxiety and executive function in the classroom.
She shared four lessons that special education teachers can use as reference to make a difference in their classrooms every day.

1. Executive Function

Children with learning disabilities and those who are diagnosed with ADHD often have a difficult time with executive functions such as control planning, organization, memory, time management and flexible thinking. Special education teachers need to be equipped in handling this common problem in learning for students with learning challenges.

2. Anxiety

Anxiety is crippling. There are a lot of children who have diagnosed and undiagnosed anxiety disorders in the school. The challenge for teachers is on how to help these students cope and overcome it by recognizing its symptoms, causes and manifestation.

3. Neurodiversity

To create an effective and inclusive learning community, special education teachers need to understand neurodiversity better. This TED Talk encourages teachers to move toward neuroharmony and help neurodivergent students find their "spark."

4. Accommodation and Differentiation

Special education teachers also need to ensure that they are able to help children overcome their specific learning challenges and meet their needs. This lesson has tools and strategies for parents and educators to use when identifying and working on students' learning needs.

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