When teaching children with special needs, whether it’s physical or developmental disabilities, it is important that the teachers manage the learning environment proactively in order to prevent any behavioral issues and promote learning. Children with special needs may experience behavioral and learning issues because they haven’t grasped key skills yet such as interacting with other children in appropriate ways.
It is up to the teachers to create an environment that contributes to the learning process for all of the children in the classroom. Building student motivation, creating a clear and predictable class schedule, and providing opportunities for all students to participate in social interactions are just a few ways teachers can assist with children with special needs.
At Greater Bergen’s Head Start, we welcome children with special need into our program. When a child with special needs enrolls into our program the parents, teachers and our Head Start specialists all work together to develop a unique program for the child for both inside the classroom and at home. Children with special needs are included in regular activities and play and learn alongside the other children. If needed, the child’s therapist is also invited to come into the classroom and aid the child in learning. Because each child learns differently, there is no single method for helping all children and planning a child’s learning experience is important. At Head Start we know that good teaching is strategic, intentional and exciting but more importantly, it takes time.