When working with children especially children who you support in class you will be given the opportunity to input your own ideas into the teachers planning, as you have your own areas of expertise or if you are a one-to-one you will have your own knowledge of the child you work with. When you work with children with special needs they will need more structure in the activities that they do every day and you will be aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
The child that I work with in school has a range of difficulties from social communication difficulties to a speech and language problem. Everyday is different because he is so interchangeable, one day he will sit and work with me and the next he will not want anything to do with me, sometimes this makes it hard as most of the work we do is structured around work given by various professionals who come into school to support him (speech and language, education psychologist, communication and interaction team and learning support). Because I work with him every day I can see what works with him and what doesn’t and just about daily I have to give feedback to her so that we can both plan the lessons for him for the next day. Here are a few examples of when I have offered constructive suggestions in supporting planned learning activities:-
I was sat with the teacher one morning before the children came into school because that is when we do our planning for the child I support or we modify anything that he has to be supported with in class. I noticed that the teacher had planned an arts and craft lesson that involved the use of tissue paper, the child that I support does not like the touch or feel of tissue paper (I had done an activity with him the other week which had resulted in him refusing to anything else with the tissue paper has he did not like the feel he got so upset and I had to put the tissue paper away). I mentioned this to the teacher because I wanted my child to be involved with the lesson but I did not what them to disrupt the rest of the class. So we decided that we would alter the materials we were using not just for the child that I support but for the whole class so that he could feel included in the whole lesson.
Another example was when I was working with a group of children doing a numeracy lesson. The lesson was about rounding numbers up to the nearest ten, I had a group of six children one of which as special needs first the teacher explained to them in class what they were expected to and told them how to do it, I then took the six children out side of the class and supported them with the lesson. The children found the task very difficult and could not grasp the idea of rounding off numbers to the nearest ten. When I took them back into the class room I talked to the teacher and explained that most of them found the task hard and suggested that we modify the task by letting them use a number line to help then see how to round the numbers off to the nearest ten. She agreed that i was right and said that it was a good idea for tomorrow’s numeracy lesson. By doing this I gave constructive suggestions to the teacher and supported planned learning activities.
Courtney from Study Moose