Focusing on the weaknesses
January 19, 2014 2:59 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for new ways to address my pupils' weaknesses.

I'm currently into a program to improve my teaching abilities with children afflicted by some form of cognitive deficit. It's rather wide-ranging, since it includes considering impairments induced by autistic spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, dyslexia, and various learning disorder.

I'm an ESL teacher, and so far the program hasn't really provided me with lots of ways or ideas to actually improve my learning techniques in that context. I'm teaching a small group of kids with such difficulties once a week, and I have trouble to come up with original and efficient ways of teaching them the language. I mean, I have trouble to adapt my teaching. I don't think that I significantly change what I usually do.

I'd like to really provide something that would make a difference for all of us in the class, so teachers, parents, kids, please tell me what is sensible to do to let my pupils make the most of it.
posted by nicolin to Education (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They are not weaknesses; they are differences and challenges, and the students have their own strengths.

With such a varied group I would first teach them the basics of mindfulness to help focus. Otherwise, you haven't really identified what you are having difficulty with in your question, which makes me wonder if you are aware of the larger systemic problem yourself but unable to articulate what the challenges are to you. As vague, general ideas I would suggest incorporating songs into your curriculum, kinetic learning with lots of movement (I've used yoga story time effectively myself), and interactions outside of the classroom to improve daily fluency (so, a trip to the library with conversations with other adults, or a trip to the ice cream shop to handle real money and non-familiar adults)
posted by saucysault at 3:29 PM on January 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

What _does_ the program teach you?
posted by amtho at 3:43 PM on January 19, 2014

Here are some tips for ways you can motivate your students today. But the most important tip is #2 Making sure you are teaching to all the learning styles in your classrooms is another way to motivate your students

Transforming Your Teaching Style: A Student-Centered Approach is also an excellent resource. She is a higher education instructor, but kids are kids with different learning styles.

To be a successful teacher you need to tailor your style to match the child's learning style.
posted by JujuB at 6:45 PM on January 19, 2014

to Amtho : so far, the program has been dealing extensively with the systemic aspects of inefficient teaching and with the relastionship between the various government agencies involved in the schooling and the families.
posted by nicolin at 11:42 PM on January 19, 2014

In the UK the term for this is SEN - Special Educational Needs. I can't offer info myself unfortunately, but searching the web for "SEN teaching resources" should find some good stuff. The TES is a good place to start.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:33 AM on January 20, 2014

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