Working with special education needs (SEN) children is a big challenge for every teacher and this is why it requires specific attitudes. Here are some practical cues:
The first and most important attitude is that SEN children are equal to the other children in the class. They might be nerve-shattering, noisy, disobedient, eccentric, invisible, too shy, silent, different but above all they are children like the rest in your group. Stick to this belief.
Be a role model
As a teacher, you are the role model. When children don’t know how to react to their SEN classmates they will look at you as a reference person. Be open-minded, calm, kind and teach them tolerance to diversity.
SEN children exist. They are part of your class. Interact with the different children openly. This shows your respect to them and it will enhance their trust in you. Trust is the basis of your effective work with such children. It will engage them in classwork. Open interaction also teaches the remaining part of your class how to treat different people.
Learn about the SEN children’s conditions and specific characteristics in order to be able to offer them more adequate help in the learning process. Consult other specialists like school psychologists, speech pathologists, etc. This will give you more ideas how to construct their individual educational plans.
SEN children are different but don’t spare them from difficulties and making efforts. On the contrary, require that they get out of their comfort zone, be consistent and help them pursue their realistic goals. It will enhance their confidence. Apply a flexible approach but be consistent in your requirements.
Make SEN children’s parents your real partners for the sake of the children’s development and education.