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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

What would you want a new teacher to know about special needs?

(17 Posts)
oneforward20back Wed 10-Jun-09 00:33:13

Okay have ds with possible SN (alot of dispute about it at mo) Been getting some very good advice from wise MNetters. Hoping to train to be a teacher 2ndry teacher and aware that training cannot cover everything. What specific qualities / knowledge would you like to see in a teacher regarding children with SN.


ICANDOTHAT Wed 10-Jun-09 08:31:35

Not from personal experience, but from several friends who are qualified teachers - what I understand, current teacher training 'touches' on SNs in one day .... not much when you cosider that the dx of ASD's and other SNs are on the increase. I think the training can only make you aware of certain traits, it is time and experience that really helps you be more aware. Sorry no great ideas.

bubblagirl Wed 10-Jun-09 08:38:50

again each disability differs from another so you can train yourself up on each and yet face the problem of knowing nothing about the child as there different from what you have learnt

i would say to volunteer at a sn school or nursery to learn about different children with same or different sn and just get knowledge from working with them nearly all of us learn everything by just gaining knowledge from doing what were doing over time

someone who can understand and recognise that the problem may not be text book and to not brush it aside as its not on paper anywhere would be great for someone to have full understanding of the differences in each sn

bubblagirl Wed 10-Jun-09 08:42:28

understanding, open minded, caring, willing to learn about each child's individual needs, assertive and honest

you can ask at any local sn groups as they do courses such as makaton and understanding of different sn they could be useful

or you could volunteer at sn group and talk to parents and gain knowledge of there experiences and you would be helping the children to to give parents a break all great to put on a cv

bubblagirl Wed 10-Jun-09 08:43:02

and great for you too

asdx2 Wed 10-Jun-09 08:56:09

Accept that a parent has very valuable inside knowledge on their child and rather than being a nuisance by pointing out difficulties and strategies that work they are in fact doing you a huge favour.
Don't write them off as being unlikely to succeed accept that the usual method hasn't worked and find one that does.
Do what you can to build self esteem, it's rubbish knowing that you aren't as good as others or can't do what others find easy, make sure you recognise their positives and praise them for them.
Adopt a sense of humour and a thick skin as well and cut the child a bit of slack occasionally

sarah293 Wed 10-Jun-09 11:06:37

Message withdrawn

magso Wed 10-Jun-09 11:52:01

I would think a good (sn)teacher needs to be wise, flexible, intuitive, empathic (able to see from childs point of view) inventive, energetic, knowledgable but open minded, positive, encouraging, kind but strong, able to set clear boundaries but know when to back off! Take good care of themselves and enjoy the children.
If behaviour is a problem it is important to understand what is behind it.

As a parent I would like my childs teacher to value my child and bring out the best in him. Use teaching methods suited to his learning abilities, style, and needs, understand his limitations, deal kindly and wisely with difficult behaviour or misunderstandings and know the difference (and not leave problems at school for parents to manage), recognise when my child needs help, help others understand without giving away confidences, notice and deal with bullying and hurtfull behaviour, fight for my child (nearly) as furvently as I do! No pressure then !grin
Good luck!

ChopsTheDuck Wed 10-Jun-09 12:51:42

Ability to listen, adaptable and honest.

I really appreciate my son's current teachers' honesty about what he is achieving and not trying to gloss over his issues. She will state the issues as they are and have strategies for dealing with them.

She did need a kick up the backside from the head to be a little more adaptable in certain areas, but she is always prepared to listen.

I don't think vast knowledge of different conditions or disabilities is really going to help, because children are individuals and it makes for a far better approach to deal with needs as they arise that be rigid in set ideas and theories.

oneforward20back Wed 10-Jun-09 13:07:32

Okay lets see if I have got it straight:

1. To listen to advice that can be given on the specific coping strategies and methods that work for that individual
2. To respect the ability of the child to learn (no matter how the learning is achieved)
3. To help the understanding and acceptance of the child by peers whilst considering the child's self esteem
4.To have a broad basic understanding of various SN conditions but accept that most children to not fit into this textbook view.
5.To ensure that praise is as important if not more so then the discipline aspect
6. To respect and integrate the knowledge of the parent of the particulars affecting the individual child.

That about it or am I on the wrong planet?

Peachy Wed 10-Jun-09 13:09:37

All I need fro the teacher is an acceptance that we should know the truth about the boys: soft soaping and 'only telling you the worst things' won't make me feel informed and involved, and will not enable me to make accurate predictions either. Far from protecting us it will only cause us to worry mroe about what we don't know.

Some awareness of the most common disorders- asd, the dys's (lexia, praxia, calculia), CP etc along with the ability and willingness to google other disorders when needed would be useful, along with an acceptance that cademia is not the be all and end all, and if a child learns very little due to SN buut is happy and safe, that counts for a a lot,

oneforward20back Wed 10-Jun-09 13:17:12

Peachy: With you with that. Can you recommend somewhere I can get some more info about CP? Can i find it if I google CP or do I need to know what CP stands for? How much detail would you as a parent what to know -all the details or the summary (maybe a week t time)?

Have the dyslexia and ADHD aspects covered as personally suffer these but know I suffer differently to sis who also has both. ASD is what ds been suspected on so have been doing a lot of reading but understand knowledge of the developmental delay aspects is very poor. School report:needs more research grin

Peachy Wed 10-Jun-09 13:23:37


CP is a condition where the carer will be the expert on that child- well that's the case for most SN, unless of course it is picked up at school and you are involved in that time.

I think it'sprobably having enough knowledge that when you see a condition mentioned on a statement you have an idea of what it is. And basics.... asd kids respond well ofetn to quieter surroundings, visual learning and timetables (not always though)- the rest you can pick up as you go.

Good luck with the training- I graduated last year and was hoping to do it but the teacher training provision here is poor (I can either drive 2 hours away with a localpalcement or drive an hour away with a palcemnt 2 hours away.... as Mum of 4, 2 SN, 1 SEN and a toddler just not possible).

Fear not though, looking at SW training instead and will love that isntead I think

oneforward20back Wed 10-Jun-09 13:33:52

Thanks peachy. Anymore ideas?

oneforward20back Wed 10-Jun-09 14:11:11

Would you like to see more SN training for teachers? and not just SN specific teachers the general teaching population.

oneforward20back Wed 10-Jun-09 14:13:30

WOuld anyone be upset if I print and use this as research/evidence of research. If you do please say and i won't use it.

ChopsTheDuck Wed 10-Jun-09 14:50:22

Yes I would like to see more. I think it is very hard on NQTs who don't have the first idea and may have a whole range of issues to deal with. Ds1 had a NQT teacher last year, I felt she had a lot on her plate and hadn't been given enough information on sn. It seemed that she had a lot of extra work to know how to teach ds and others with additional needs.

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