Everyone know what is communication and why we communicate, in general to convey message and making sure the receiver received and understand the message. You are receiving my message while reading this article.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR ROLES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND YOUR CLIENTS
As a Teacher, your roles are more than a ‘Teacher’. Students and Parents are your main clients. For parents, you are the first person they asked advice from or someone they turned to if they want to share something about their child because you are with their child most of the time at school.
For students, you are more than a Teacher who provides education, you provide protection, support, encouragement, love and care. You are their older sister/brother or even as their parents. You carry lots of responsibilities in your daily duties. Be proud of it!
WE ARE FULL OF EMOTIONS
Yes we are human, we are not perfect. We are full of emotions and everyday we are facing with lots of ups and downs. Remember not only you have lots of stuff going on in your mind…kids do too.
WHAT IS GOING ON INSIDE OUR MIND
BEFORE YOU START YOUR DAY
Before you start your day. Inhale, exhale and be thankful. Keep yourself calm and enjoy the day.
Remember the 5 basic needs, each and everyone of us need these basic needs to get ready to learn. Every child need to be seen, heard, need to be respected, need to feel belong and therefore they will be ready to learn.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR STUDENTS
You are not just dealing with any typical students, you are dealing with ‘special needs students’. You might have observe each students and you are fully understood that each students are different but the one thing that is similar are they are fragile. Looks like they don’t understand you but they do have feelings, they heard and understand whenever you talking about them. They don’t want sympathy they want empathy. They want you to show them you CARE and LOVE them.
Always remember to listen to them, look at their eyes, mirror them and speak their language. Observes their action, their needs. The more you observe, the more you be able to understand them. Have vision on them and asked them their vision. Show them empathy, they want to feel that you understand them, that will make them feel secure and safe.
Handling kids are never easy, handling special needs need special teacher like you. Be calm, keep calm because that is the only weapon that helps you go through their mind. Acknowledge them and use their names when you are talking to them. Recognize their ability, even the small things makes a big different. Always encourage them, for the job well done. Even when they fail, keep on encouraging on what they can improve.
DON’T JUDGE THE PARENTS FOR THEIR CHILD’S BEHAVIOR
We use to judge parents when their child behave badly especially in public. I believe this happened in school too, whenever there is a naughty student we assume the behavior must be from home.
I would have think the same before but when my kids are in school I seen some differences, things I didn’t teach from home, things I don’t want them to say, its all there in the package.
...”Over the years, I’ve learned that child behavior is not as cut and dry as I once might’ve believed. Some kids aren’t born with a “don’t hit” and “be gentle” button, and it takes time to nurture those things. No two children are alike, and having a son that hits and bites is further confirmation of that fact. And while before I was a seasoned parent, I thought the only thing that resulted from good parenting was kind and obedient children, now I know otherwise. In fact, I’ve met plenty of wonderful parents over the years with kids who seem like they go out looking for trouble. I’ve come to believe that it’s one of the great lessons of parenting—that you can’t control everything your children do”.-Sarah Bregel- Parenting.com
…”Once kids reach school age (and for many of us, even sooner) they are away from us many hours a day. We have less control over the things—and people, and behaviors—they latch onto. Of course, it’s always important to take note of, and work to curb, any undesirable qualities that pop up, but being away from parents is a good thing. It gives kids room to grow and explore in new ways. We will still be the most influential people in our children’s lives, and inevitably they’ll pick up some of our mannerisms, ideas, habits, prejudices, and talents. But they don’t have to be—shouldn’t be—our mirror image…” Peggy Drexler Ph.D. – PsychologyToday.com
Imagine those parents with special needs child like me, we face challenges in managing our child’s behavior. There are times we can’t control them and they themselves unable to control what they experiencing, remember they are SPECIAL, they have sensory integration issues.
Parents are already stress, not that they don’t do their work but they are things beyond their control. If you focus on the parents too much you are will not be able to focus on the child.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE PARENTS
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO ON HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH PARENTS
You have chosen your career as a Special Education Teacher and I am sure you more willing to learn. Working with different type of special needs students, with all the tools you learn, the knowledge and experiences you have, you need to be physical and mentally strong.
From a parent to all the special education teachers .. I salute you.. and thank you for your hard work.
YOU DID A GREAT JOB!
Here are the full version of the video;
Notes : This article is adapted from my presentation for empowering teachers and Trainers program organized by CHILD,UNICEF AND MPWS. This article may have been different from the actual slides presentation but the content are more likely the same.