Students with special needs may require a bit more assistance in the classroom, but these students have the same hopes and aspirations when they come to school as any other student — they want to be respected, they want to make friends, and they want to move towards a bright future through education. Teachers can help create a more welcoming environment for students with special needs by taking the following three simple steps:
Dispel myths and misunderstandings about students with special needs
If you are teaching in an inclusive classroom, some students may hold negative preconceived notions about students with special needs. Students may believe that students with special needs do not have feelings, are “brave” just for existing, or that students with special needs live vastly different lives from able-bodied students. Dispel some of these common myths by reminding students that having special needs does not make someone less intelligent or capable, that there are some disabilities that cannot be seen, and that students with special needs are people with fears, aspirations, and friends just like able-bodied students.
Promote ownership of the classroom space
Promoting ownership of a classroom can help students with special needs feel more connected with his or her peers and welcome in their space. Invite students to work together to create a seasonal bulletin board or organize a section of the classroom.
Take a course on inclusivity and diversity
PA Act 48 requirements dictate that teachers need to complete at least 180 hours of approved courses every five calendar years to maintain their certification and keep up-to-date in their field. Why not use this time to learn more about inclusivity and diversity in the classroom? The Teacher’s Academy offers a host of Act 48 approved courses that can help teachers build a more inclusive and welcoming classroom for students with special needs. Consider signing up for our course on teaching strategies for the student with special needs or our workshop on activities for the inclusive classroom to earn your hours and gain useful skills in guiding students with special needs.
Online professional development for teachers in Montgomery County is made easy with The Teacher’s Academy. To learn more about our Act 48 approved courses or our courses on classroom accessibility, give our team a call today at 800-713-1841.