Special Education Teachers: What roles do they have to play?

The very term “inclusive education” is a reference to the system of including everyone irrespective of various differences and disabilities in the process of education. With relentless efforts from all strata of teachers and other teaching associates, children with varying degree of disabilities can now learn from staying within a class of other students also.

To make inclusive learning a successful endeavour, the SEN teachers have to play some pivotal roles. The main aim is to develop a learning environment which is not only integrated but personalised also. The time the aspirants undergo special education teacher training teaches them the loops and holes of the whole thing.

So, what are these roles? Here we have a few of them covered.

1. Developing learning curriculums

Inclusive classroom means creating an environment where students are not discriminated. But at the same time SEN teachers must ensure that the curriculum they prepare must enable every student to take active part in it. In simpler terms, the disabilities must be considered.

Learning materials must be supplemental. It should not be only textual or visual. The content should be manipulative, technology-based, resource-oriented etc. which will undoubtedly benefit students especially on a one-to-one learning format.

It is another responsibility of teachers while developing curriculums that they put importance on the strengths and weaknesses of the students. This way, they can meet the prior-set goals.

2. Assessment of learning process

When a teacher of special education is involved in an inclusive classroom, she/he must also be assessing the lessons and the children’s progress. This will help them understand how far or near the students are from achieving the goals. A periodic evaluation of lessons is necessary.

Special education teachers should try to support the children with these evaluations through organizing IEP meetings. From there the next steps to take will come out. Evaluation will make one realise if any modification in the course or curriculum is necessary.

3. Giving instructions in classroom

Any inclusive classroom can follow any model of teaching like push-in model or co-teaching model. But whatever it might be, the result is fruitful only when the instructions given are clear and easily apprehensible.

From arranging one-to-one lesson to setting up therapy sessions with speech therapists or other specialised personnel like counsellors- all are included in the responsibilities of these teachers. In all these set ups, assistance and instructions are important.

For this to be successful, a SEN teacher should cooperate with the general education teachers. If the need arises, the teachers can break up a class into smaller fragments and thus manage them more skilfully. This will also ensure that the engagement opportunities the students receive are of higher significance.

4. Working as advocates

Special needs children need to look up at their teachers as their advocates. It is the teachers who will ensure that all strata of the management realise the importance of inclusive education and show the extent of understanding. Not only the lessons, the children need to participate in all other campus activities.

While doing this, the teachers should maintain an active communication channel with the parents of the children. With regular feedbacks and updates about the development of the children- physical, emotional, cognitive, social etc- the parents or family can be more involved also.

These are the most important prominent roles of a teacher in special education. Choose a good teacher training course for pursuing your career as a SEN teacher. Look out for the proper features and facilities as provided by the course providers.

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