An unexpected day off work was recently the perfect opportunity to make a dint in my reading pile and so I polished off Marie Delaney’s Special Educational Needs. A great, well –organised book for any teacher who has students with SEND in their classroom and has received little or no training, it is also a good read to anyone interested in this subject.
Here’s what I learnt:
- Many people now refer to SEN as AEN – Additional Educational Needs, and ASD is called ASC – Autistic Spectrum Condition. Living and working outside of the UK means I’m not always up to date on terminology and I like to know what people are talking about as much as I dislike using a term that makes me sound like some 1950’s racist.
- It’s a good idea to encourage students to share memory strategies, get them to tell each other how they go about learning vocab or revising for a test.
- Dyspraxia can lead to difficulties in sleeping and migraines
- Getting partners to sit next to each other not opposite eases discomfort for some students, including those with Asperger’s for example.
- Gifted & Talented students can get impatient if their concentration is interrupted and they are keen to improve systems and institutions.
AND finally this underlined something I’ve been reading about elsewhere and will try and put into practice this year;
- Teachers need to manage their energy levels and do things that energize them as opposed to draining them. It’s not about getting everything done ( we know that’s never going to happen!) but about rationing your strength and energy but resting BEFORE you are exhausted. This year I also want to try and remember that mental exhaustion is not the same as physical tiredness, and to make more of an effort to go for a quick walk when I get home, rather than vegging on the sofa shoving biscuits into my mouth all evening!