Managing any child comes with it’s own set of unique troubles, whether it be high-leveled energy, impulsive acts or disruptive tendencies. However, when it comes to children with special needs, your approach to the issue is vital.
If you’re a special needs educator, it’s plain to see how one might collapse without something to support you. That something is classroom management. Luckily, there are numerous options available to help you and the child’s needs.
1. Planning ahead
A child’s ability to process efficiently and their level of self-esteem are influenced by how well you’ve arranged your class.
Take extra care to plan out your daily agenda because children with special needs rely on their educators as they would caretakers. Lay out all the activities you wish to accomplish within the day and take it one step at a time. Make sure to include a daily scheduled walk or stretch break to take the kids outside, keep them up and moving.
2. Make accommodations
Each child deserves a certain type of care. If one of the kids needs a wheelchair, an open row to sit should be provided. If a child has issues with social interactions, place him/her within a group of other classmates who work well with others. If one child requires more attention, place them in the front of the room so you can keep a constant eye on their actions.
3. Building self-esteem
It’s pivotal to constantly encourage the children with positive feedback. Ask questions in class, in which they can easily answer. Give the children tasks, such as handing out art materials, collecting homework and erasing the whiteboard to help keep their mind stimulated.
It’s important to treat each child equally and provide all with attention and praise for their work.
Another key that educators and teachers must learn is recognizing the limits of a child. Take that into consideration and apply it to your demeanor. You’re the authority figure but you should never raise your voice and yell at the child. If a student breaks a rule, apply a consequence that is consistent and fair then continue on with the lesson as planned. Remember to be consistent and keep your cool.
Common Issues in the Classroom and How to Deal
When one child starts to move about in a room, others would follow suite, resulting in lack of attention for the activity as well as chaos in the room.
Students who struggle with excess amounts of energy, for example, need an outlet for their excess energy in order to curb their impulses. This is done with activities that expend energy for children, such as jogging in place, jumping jacks and activities that allow for movement and action.
Having the student feed the class fish and take charge of cubby organization are subtle ways to address impulse control as well as build self-esteem through responsibilities.
Students who struggle with immaturity, for example, need constant observation of their behaviors in order to improve interaction abilities and social skills. This would include supervised playtime together with extended sessions in order to explain to the child what is allowed and what is not.
A few simple tools to utilize in dealing with immaturity are patience, showing an interest in the child and an investment in their learning process, and modeling the desired behaviors for the children to imitate.
Students who are disruptive and constantly in motion tend to be seen squirming in their seats, unable to sit still, jiggling their feet, tapping their pencils and incessantly talking. When the impulse is too great, they may stand up and walk around the classroom even in the middle of an activity.
To aid in these impulses find new ways to alter the classroom settings in order to benefit the students. One effective technique seen in the classroom, is the use of exercise balls as alternatives to seats. The fidgeting and wiggling can be balanced out, making for a more relaxed child in the classroom.
It is also important to create variety for the children to avoid boredom, resulting in disruptive actions. Such a way to do so would be using the floor for reading or other places to allow them ways to avoid the feeling of being trapped in the same seat all day.
Applying these techniques and practices will help in the management of your classroom, creating a safe and peaceful learning environment for you and your students.