Our Special Education Support teacher establishes strong working partnerships with classroom teachers in order to help ensure that children’s learning needs are identified and addressed as early as possible. The aim here to prevent or reduce the incidence of later learning difficulties.
The key features of the program consist of class teacher observation, early screening, monitoring progress and teaching that is directed and responsive to emerging learning problems. Wherever possible, the support is delivered as part of the regular classroom program, as being taken out of the classroom can sometimes act as a disincentive – especially if the child sees it as ‘missing out’ on what his or her classmates are doing.
It must be remembered that children with learning difficulties experience problems with consolidating, retaining, and transferring newly learned information and skills from one day to the next and from one situation to another. Learning is an active process and helping children to take increasing ownership for setting goals and monitoring their academic performance can also help.
As in all aspects of children’s lives, the encouragement, involvement, and support of parents as partners in the educative process plays a vital role, especially where practice and reinforcement is needed. Here too, trained peer-tutors can provide an additional link in the learning chain, and one that the research shows can bring benefits not only to the struggling child, but to his or her more able peer.
Thus, a central and ongoing aspect of the Special Education Support program is to provide opportunities for teachers, parents, the students themselves, to learn more about learning through seminars, workshops, and training opportunities.