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Tips for Handling an Inclusive Classroom

By Samuel Adebara on June 7th, 2021

Running an inclusive classroom can be quite the challenge for most teachers because of the peculiarity of special needs pupils. In the 2007 movie “Like Stars on Earth” we see a young pupil, Ishan, who has a hard time understanding what is being taught in class because he was Dyslexic.

This took a toll on all that he did and even put his teacher, who did not understand his condition, in a bad light. It took the intervention of another teacher who learned and explored Ishan’s artistic strengths and abilities. This helped him a lot and eventually brought out the star in him.

Every teacher wants to make a star out of their pupils, especially those ones with special needs. It is therefore important to understand that a pupil having a disorder does not make them more or less intelligent than their peers and so they should not be sidelined in an all Inclusive Classroom.

Special needs range from mild to severe and must be studied in other to be understood and treated accordingly. Teachers with special need pupils can use some of the following tips to improve their classroom output.

  • Learn about your pupils special need by conducting research about it. Ensure that you handle their information with confidentiality. Also interact with parents and past teachers to get an idea of the pupil’s strengths, abilities and weaknesses.
  • Interact with the student to learn what they are interested in and what they tend to avoid in the classroom. This would help you know where they need help and how best to help them.
  • Get creative and fashion the learning process to suit your pupil’s special need. For instance, if they enjoy music, try to incorporate singing in your lessons.
  • Also, create positive modifications, such as visual aids, in the learning environment that will help the student concentrate better and participate more
  • Make sure that they have an ease of access to the classroom resources that they need. For instance, assign front roll seats to pupils with eye defects.
  • Use technology in the classroom to your advantage. Allow dyslexic students record the classroom discussions and verbal notes so they can take their time transcribing without slowing the entire class down.
  • Socialization is key so encourage healthy peer interaction and peer teaching. Make sure to peer your special need pupils with their friends for team projects.
  • Provide exceptional role models with special needs just like your pupils such as Steven Hawking and Michael Phelps. This would encourage them and give them something to aspire to.
  • Be consistent in your approaches and emphasize structure in the classroom as it helps build your pupils confidence and trust.
  • Mind your language when speaking about or addressing special need pupils. Use language that prioritize them over their disability and does not differentiate them from their peers except when necessary.

Very important is your ability to build your pupils up to trust and depend on you. Teachers should do their best to be considerate, patient and accommodating of their special need pupils. It will not always be easy but the end often justifies the means.

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