Today, many classrooms are diverse. They include students with LD, where L stands for learning, and the D can stand for a variety of terms: disability, difficulty, dysfunction, diversity, or difference. Inclusive education should offer an approach to broaden the classroom experiences of both LD students and their non-disabled classmates.
If you aim to be effective as a teacher in the inclusive classroom, here are seven tips that can help you.
1. Watch your students and discover their potential
Developing individual tasks is a time-consuming job for a single teacher who is in charge of instructing 20 to of a class. In the first place, focus on individual needs and strengths of students.
Explore the potential of every student. Essential data from observations, assessments, and IEPs can help you. A full picture of the students’ learning differences will help you to find out the appropriate strategies for program organization.
2. Help students to create positive role models and visualize prospects for a future career
Potential role models can inspire and motivate students. Tell them about people who have achieved great success – Carol Greider (learning disabilities), a winner of a Noble Prize in science or Steven Spielberg (ADHD), a film director.
Some students may be unsure about their future career. Make them aware of their potential. Help them to discover their strengths for potential jobs. Show them how the school-based learning will prepare them for these professions.
3. Pay attention to physical accommodation in your classroom
There are key factors to consider when you decide on how to set up the classroom: where your learner should sit, and how you should manage the physical resources.
● Provide larger workplaces and electrical outlets for students who use large graphic organizers, large note-taking charts, manipulatives or electronic devices.
● Place shy and withdrawn students in the front row. They will feel more involved experiencing a one-to-one attachment with the teacher.
● Don’t seat easily distracted students near a window.
4. Benefit from tools and apps
Try to reach a meaningful engagement of students to enhance their memory. Use manipulatives and visual aids to create interactive experiences. Consider tools and apps:
● Digital storytelling. Children love stories about a protagonist who overcomes obstacles and achieve goals with the support of family, magic, or superpowers. In the inclusive classroom, the teacher’s’ encouragement and potential-based strategies enable students to discover their own “superpowers.” Apps like Animation Desk or Comic Life can be of use.
● Assistive tools and apps that are aimed at developing skills the students need to improve. For example, a student isn’t good at creative writing. A text program Dragon Naturally Speaking can enhance his essay writing skills. A student with autism who likes using an iPad will improve communicative skills with Proloquo2Go.
5. Include games in the learning process
Teachers often use games to solidify students knowledge. But interaction also cultivates students’ social skills and creates friendly classroom environment.
The choices of games are limitless. They provide various ways of student’s participation. Opt for those teaching teamwork and building community instead of competitive ones. Playing such games, students enjoy each other’s company and develop friendly relationships.
6. Pay attention to the organization of learning
The foundation of the positive learning environment is each student’s feeling of safety and acceptance. You can create this atmosphere by modeling care and respect for all members of the classroom. Students at risk can overcome the possibility of failure through involvement in a thoughtful and caring community of learners.
To make the learning environment more effective, emphasize every student’s strengths. Let them know the value of their abilities and experiences.
7. Ask for feedback
It is vital for teachers of inclusion classes to know if they are doing right. The student’s performance is a good indicator of efficiency, but far from the only one.
Get a students’ feedback. Ask them about what they like in the classroom conditions. Get to know what they need to get engaged in the learning process.
In the first place, the inclusive education is based on attitude towards the students. As a teacher, you must acquire a strong belief that all of your students can learn effectively. This way, you regular and LD students will succeed both in and out of school.