August 25, 2013
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher. I loved the idea of helping children grow as an individual and help them better their future. When my senior year of high school rolled around I met a little boy with Down syndrome and my whole career changed. I wanted to become a Special Education teacher. Helping a non-disabled child to me was rewarding, but possibly helping a learning disabled child was even more rewarding. In this following article, I will be providing information on how to keep a classroom organized and a few teaching techniques that deal with a Special Needs environment.
Introduction Education has come a long way over the years but special education has come further. In the 1700’s special education only went to the extent of providing for the blind and deaf. The way people with learning disabilities were accepted back then was harsh and hateful compared to the way they are treated today, caring, understanding, and helpful. Teaching and learning has changed throughout the years due to new developing factors of a student’s way of learning. It takes a kind hearted person with extreme patience to become a special education teacher. The students you plan to teach will have special needs that need to be taken care of and you will need to find a way to help them learn not only better their lives today but better it for their future. This is where the job can become stressful. (Webster, 2013) Each student will have a different way of learning due to their specific needs. Not only do you need to work with the students, you will need to build a relationship with their parents and fellow co-workers. You obviously won’t be the only teacher teaching these students so you will need to build a friendly relationship for each person that is a huge impact in your student’s life. No matter how great of a teacher you may think you are, with special need students, you will need help and you cannot be afraid to ask for it. There will be times though when you just might not agree with an individual. You just always have to remember “It is essential for both parties to realize that the goals for the child are 'shared goals'. Both must agree that the child's interest comes first.” (Russell n.d.) When it comes to teaching special needs children, there are many types of learning disabilities but the most common would have to be autism. There are 5 different types of autism, the most common being Kanner’s Syndrome or more commonly known as Classic Autistic Disorder. Although you may have a classroom full of the same type of autism, no kid is the same. Children with classic autism may have behavioral and emotional disorders as well so teaching them can be quite stressful. This is because they tend to be possessive and keep to themselves. One major factor about autistic children is that they have trouble communicating and should follow daily routines. (Autism) Another common type of autism is Asperger Syndrome. I am very familiar with this disability. While in high school a fellow peer of mine was diagnosed with this type of autism. He was socially awkward and didn’t understand when to stop when everyone told him to do so. Apart from a child having just autism, there will be times when you will teach students with multiple disorders. These students will need to receive the most attention and focus due to their extreme learning needs. As stated by Langston, “People with multiple disabilities will need educational services targeting each area of disability.” Another common disability type you will possibly encounter in this career is deaf children. I believe learning sigh language should be an absolute must if in your teaching career you come across this challenge. Not only will sign language help you communicate with hearing loss children you may also use it as an option to help multiple disabled children