The Coronavirus Pandemic changed education as we know it. Many teachers across the US are facing the challenge of learning to adapt their classrooms to remote learning.
A typical classroom poses a set of challenges. But in a special education classroom, it poses a whole different set of challenges. General education teachers are learning to adapt their classrooms and students to learning online.
However, Special Education teachers have to learn not only how to adapt their classrooms and students but also their families.
Special education can be used as an umbrella term to describe many ages, abilities, and disabilities. Special Education is based on each person’s individual needs.
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These needs are listed in their “Individualized Educational Plan,” also known as their “IEP.”
Instead of developing a whole-class lesson plan, Special Education teachers are faced with the challenge of creating multiple lessons that match specific individual needs. Each lesson is strategically designed to meet that one student’s needs as required by the federal mandate.
However, one thing that both general and special education teachers have to question is how much support parents and caregivers can give.
The following strategies were provided by Special Education teachers across the nation. They banded together to help serve the needs of special education students with remote teaching of special ed.
How to Succeed Remote Teaching of Special Ed
What is it like at home?
First, it is vital to contact families to get a sense of life at home.
Some questions to think about are:
- What does it look like at home?
- Who will be responsible for taking care of the student?
- Who will be there to provide support with information from the teachers?
This is an excellent time for a teacher to transform a direct learning model into a coaching model.
Through this process, the family learns the importance of expectation goals and objectives. Teachers and families need to analyze goals and determine if they are achievable given the new setting and circumstances.
It is also through this process that families break learning targets and transform them into manageable benchmarks.
Many, if not all, students thrive in a structured environment. That is true for both General Education and Special Education.
Most students thrive off of structure and routine. They also benefit from having teaching staff available to them for constant instruction and focus.
When transitioned to remote learning of Special Ed with the same workload, you face the risk of lack of focus and inconsistent work ethics. One way to help with focus is having a daily schedule broken down into chunks and providing room for small breaks.
If possible, this daily routine should be as closely aligned with the student’s daily school schedule. Parents can use a kitchen timer to mimic the same effect of a school bell system.
At the same time, parents need to know and understand that there is no perfect. An exact schedule cannot be mimicked, and a school environment can not be duplicated.
Parents need to remember that it is okay not to mimic school, and it is okay and encouraged not to duplicate an exact schedule. Overall it is essential to keep a level head and do the best anyone can in these
Additional Strategies to Succeed Remote Teaching of Special Ed
Remote learning is an opportunity where a lot of outstanding teachers, students, and parents can ban together. They can establish a system/schedule that works for everyone, and that focuses on the success of the student.
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