Exceptional Child is course designed to mobilize educators to the need for effective educational programming for children with special needs. It majors on the field of special education. Having participated in this training, I have developed an in-depth understanding of the implications of special needs and disabilities upon teaching and learning in an educational environment.
Prior to participating in the course, I believed that a disability was a total barrier to accessing quality education and that physically challenged child had no means to getting meaningful learning. I thought that instructors had no way to helping children with disability realize their unique gifts. However, I found it interesting that different teaching methods and approaches could be used to simplify learning for disadvantaged children while coupling it with greater results.
The course introduced me to a variety of teaching methodologies. Learning approaches like Co-teaching made the lessons lively. As an instructor, learning these techniques make the training process fun! I enjoyed learning these new ways of handling children with disability especially when I realized that they create room for the student to access the general education curriculum and open door for specialized instruction.
I first thought that it could be unrealistic to accommodate students with special needs in a heterogeneous classroom. However, through the course, I noted that this is simply possible. Such knowledge is appealing to me. It shows me that as an instructor, am able to reduce stigmatization that results when students with special needs are separated from the rest.
Moreover, while handling children with special needs, I got it important to note that being an instructor, I needed to design individual education plan (IEP). That was absorbing to me because with IEP, I could easily address each child’s unique learning issues.
As a teacher of this course, I would include field work where learners go out to interact with disadvantaged children after each lesson. I would use this approach as a tool to give students chance to try concepts learnt in class immediately after it is taught.
To effectively apply what I have learnt in classroom, first, I would try to create an interactive environment by having polite conversation with each child. I would begin my lesson by introducing myself to the child, showing concern and the importance of my intended goal to them. I would also apply observation to know what the different movements of the child communicate while learning. I would remember to pay particular attention each child’s need.
To help children capture concepts presented in various ways, I would be both flexible and consistent. During co-teaching session for instance, I would ensure that the same rule is applied in all groups. I would use visual, auditory or tactical cues to capture student attention. I would maintain positive attitude to improve interaction.
For future classes, I recommend a variety of software tools useful in teaching children with disability as part of the curriculum. Understanding software improves the instructor’s ability to use assertive and instructive technologies, which rely on computer technology. Also, more visits to the institution of disadvantaged children enable students to practice and evaluate effectiveness of learnt ideas.