Teaching Special children…

Ever wondered how the teachers teach in special school? Special schools, unlike normal school, have direct way of teaching.

In direct teaching, I mean to say that we have to be very specific in everything that we do to ensure that student is learning. This is one of those 'good for all but essential for some' strategies. The emphasis is shifted from teaching to learning. We have to ensure that our lesson maximize student learning outcome.

First of all, we have to know our ‘big idea’ or main essential outcome. We should be able to state very precisely what our lesson outcome will be and try to understand whether the child who is learning, is ready for this learning outcome. That is why, we have to give individual training because each child is at different level of understanding and the same idea is grasped at different levels. We have first to tap into prior learning and prepare our sequencing.

While planning a lesson, we have to plan step by step procedure, from known to unknown and find out different ways to make the lesson concrete by taking into account all the resources that we might need. Sometimes we have to take these children to actual places to give them the concrete knowledge of what they are learning. It is not what we teach but what they have arrived after learning to a conclusion.

We have to take into account about how the skill can be modeled, what examples should look like, what prompts we can use. We have to allow time for guided practice and we make a progress chart where we chalk down the progress and the weakness to understand which area of skill can be concentrated in the next lesson plan.

Checking for understanding is essential, it lets us know if our instruction works or if additional intervention or remediation or re-teaching is required.

We check whether the learning outcome has been mastered by questioning them or by using ‘show me’ approach. Sometimes a simple observation also helps.

Many students with special needs have difficulty with self-monitoring therefore we have to allow some opportunity for independence. The goal is to ensure all learners become independent, self-monitoring may require appropriate prompts from us. We have to do follow ups and find out the ways of how we can give feedback to students.

Sometimes we may need to involve parents or professionals for additional support.


Simply put, we are sure of our effective teaching/instruction when that learning has taken place.