Teaching children with special needs can be quite a challenging job. There is a lot of workload and paperwork in tutoring that makes the job even more difficult. Plus, you have to cater to the specific learning needs of your students on an individual level.
This is why deciding to teach special needs children is not something you need to think about long and hard. It’s not just about your interest. There are several critical factors involved that you need to consider before you make a choice. Ask yourself if you have what it takes to teach kids with special needs.
That being said, if you have decided to teach students with special needs, here are a few tips you could consider trying out to make it easier for your students to learn.
Tips on teaching students with special needs
- Group Activities: To avoid wasting time during class, you can try dividing students into smaller groups of 3 to 4 students based on learning level and capabilities. You could make one group do some basic level English exercises while students with a higher, more advanced aptitude could be tasked with working on some advanced level English questions.
- Class Projects: Engage your special needs students in class with interactive activities and class projects. You can encourage your students to interact with one another and work together on specific projects during the class. By doing this, you will not only boost the self-esteem and confidence levels of the students but also improve group learning.
- Fun Activities: Plan creative and engaging fun activities for your students to take part in. Talk about the things they like. Help them discover themselves, their hidden talents, and their strengths. This will make your students more comfortable and relaxed during class. They will also be able to communicate their issues and concerns should the need arise.
- Healthy Learning Environment: Create a healthy learning environment in your classroom. You should neither be too strict that your students don’t feel comfortable expressing themselves nor be too lenient that they start ignoring your authority.
- Celebrate Their Victories: Always let your students know how well they are doing in the class and the progress they’re making in their studies. It will motivate them to work harder in the future. They will also feel appreciated and noticed.
- Encourage Healthy Competition: Encourage healthy competition in your class. It will make them more responsive in this increasingly competitive industry of ours. This, in turn, would provide them with quantifiable advantages to grab opportunities in the future.
- Appreciate Their Efforts: Give them praising comments that directly link to the work they have done. Appreciated even the smallest of their efforts. Praise them without restraint when it comes to their learning milestones. For example, if a student brings their completed homework within the due time, compliment them with these words, i.e., “I am pleased by the way you have completed your Homework”.
- Be Ready to Repeat Yourself: It is not that necessary, but it will be better if you could repeat your instructions and information for students with special needs. It would go a long way in helping them memorize what they learn. Truth is, even if you were teaching students without special needs, you might still have had to repeat your lecture or instruction once or twice just to get their concepts cleared up.
- Let Them Have Fun As They Learn: The kids love to have fun. Try turning your lessons and instructions into songs and watch them enjoy themselves more in the classroom than on the playground. It will be worth watching them smiling, singing, and learning at the same time. That is what economics tuition by The Economics Tutor always does to keep the attention of autistic students that are enrolled in their programmes.
- Welcome Their Creativity: Every child is blessed with a gift. Some have a thing for poetry, some others have a flair for art. They just need to figure out what their special gift is. And as their teacher, you have a very important role to play. You have to help them discover their inner genius. For this, you could try creating an environment where they can express themselves. Allow your students to create something. This strategy will let you know about each student’s special gift.
- Post-lecture Q&A Sessions: After each lecture, make it a point to conduct a short Q&A session where the students can ask questions regarding the points they’re confused about and you can ask questions to assess if they learned what you taught.
When all is said and done, teaching students with special needs is not going to be easy. But, with time, you will get the hang of it. You will also have a clear idea about how to help your students learn. But the tips mentioned above could come in very handy as you begin your journey as a teacher to children with special needs.