The Rollercoaster Ride of Special Needs Students

For the past few years, I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a learning resource teacher.  While the assignment has been wonderful, it has also presented many challenges.  It has given me the opportunity to see learning from the point of view as a needy learner.  As a disclaimer: I still feel new to the world of Special Education and I continue to grow as a resource teacher.  I hope that people who read this blog can help me.

From their point of view, I often see a student’s day as this rollercoaster ride.  Students are strapped in, and are heading in a direction that they often can not see.  Often, they get used to their schedule and routine and begin to survive their day.  But is survival the goal?  These students end up seeing various teachers with various demands.  They accumulate due dates and assignments and do not know where to begin.  They lack the skills of prioritizing, and often do not realize they are struggling to stay on top of their learning.

One issue is that these students may lack the skills of executive functioning.  That is to say they lack certain skills to aid in task completion, task flexibility and execution.  However, is this challenge really exclusive to needy learners?

As a team, we devised the following goals to help these students:

1. We are developing a google calendar to assist with due dates

2. I am helping teachers by reducing expectations by focusing on big ideas

3. Next year, I hope to focus on executive functioning to develop that skill

I hope that readers can provide insight into their experiences.  Please share your ideas how we can help these kids control their voyage of learning.  How do we slow down the rollercoaster?  I anticipate your response and assistance.

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