Teaching Special Education Students in the Classroom, Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Teaching Special Education Students

In the classroom, teachers are primarily responsible for ensuring that special education students are provided with equal opportunities for education. While instructors should not lower academic standards in the classroom, they should make every effort to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. By making simple adjustments, such as allowing students to record lectures or changing the format of a test, teachers can make sure that special education students do not have academic or social disadvantages.

Setting up the Classroom

In the classroom, simple changes can make a great difference for special education students. For example, by arranging desks in a manner where each student has his own personal space, as opposed to sitting in groups, special education students have less chances of being distracted.

There should be various centers in the class that provide a space for students to go when they are finished with their individual work. This will ensure that they do not distract the other students. These centers can be filled with fun and education things, such as puzzles, picture and games.

Teachers can use bulletin boards to cover topics that are being covered at the time. These serve as excellent visual aids and help the students learn.

It is helpful to students if teacher review the curriculum and expectation at the start of the school year. By setting high yet realistic expectations, the students will try harder both behaviorally and academically. For special education students, teachers must be clear about choices they make, and positive and negative consequences of those choices.

During the first days of class, teachers should start giving placement tests to determine educational levels and start a routine. Teachers should also plan fun activities and give students time to interact with each other.

During the school year, teachers should remember to plan more than they intend to accomplish in a day. This way, if some ideas do not work with the students, it is easy to switch to something else.

Teachers should also be prepared for surprises. These students are often very intelligent and expect you to take them to areas you may not have anticipated. On the reverse side, a discipline, or learning problem, that unexpectedly shows up and is not dealt with immediately and appropriately, can destroy a lesson for the entire class.

A good teacher can have a tremendous effect on the future of their students. By being patient and kind, teachers can raise students' expectations and help them learn more and behave better.

Types of Disabilities and How To Deal With Them Many students have specific learning disabilities, such as dyslexia (a sever difficulty with reading) and dysgraphia (a severe difficulty with writing). Teachers should realize that learning disabilities are not a form of mental retardation and can be assisted with academic accommodations, such as allowing aids like computers, calculators and dictionaries. Teachers should also help these students arrange additional tutoring sessions to help them learn.

When teaching students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), teachers should be aware that these students are intelligent, yet are prone to characteristics, such as impatience, boredom and restlessness. They may also have problems with managing time and setting priorities. Teachers should pay extra attention to nonverbal signs of frustration and confusion from these students.

In addition, teachers with ADD students can make academic accommodations to help them learn more efficiently. For example, a teacher could provide additional study guides; give assignments both in writing and orally; use visual aids; and provide a distraction-free environment for exams.

Many special education students have physical disabilities, such as blindness, deafness or other motor impairments. These students may need to use canes, wheelchairs, braces or crutches. Teachers should make sure that these students are familiar…

Sources Used in Document:


Klinger, J., & Vaughn, S. (1999). Students' perceptions of instruction in inclusion classrooms: Implications for students with learning disabilities. Exceptional Children.

Polloway, E., Bursuck, W., Jayanthi, M., Epstein, M., & Nelson, J. (1996). Treatment acceptability: Determining appropriate interventions within inclusive classrooms. Intervention In School and Clinic.

Brattlan, Lee. (2002) Brief Reference of Student Disabilities:...with Strategies for the Classroom.

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