Today’s community engagement session was again a mixture of one-on-one support to students with reading difficulties, followed by observing two classes receiving, discussing and beginning an in-class assignment. For my weekly blog, I thought I would answer the following question in relation to my prac:
“What are the special learning needs of the students in the class you are observing? How are these learning needs catered for?”
Within the class allocated to me, I spend one-on-one time with 4 students who have been placed in the learning support program. While these students have various reasons for being in this program they have a common ground in their difficulty in reading at the expected level. During my day I saw these students in two environments, the first being in a private classroom where the student has the opportunity to read and do comprehension with a teacher. While their learning difficulty was clear to me, I observed them working hard, I could see their reading progress as marked in their booklet and was overall impressed with their dedicated attention span over 30 minutes and ability. In this setting, I thought that some of these students would not need this support for much longer as they seemed to have the ability. However, when I then entered the class setting of 25+ students I could see their shift in ability. The same student who was focused, diligent and capable of completing tasks then became almost the opposite. Now I observed them unable to begin their work, keep up with dictation and could see how overwhelmed they were in this situation.
Once the class was settled I observed the teacher then approach this student and giving him separate instructions. Instead of completing this inclass assignment solely in class he was allowed to have extra time and take it home, additionally, he was given permission to complete it on his own computer while other children were only to use the school iPads. Once he was given his own instruction the student’s whole mindset changed and it was evident he was instantly relaxed. Here I learnt that it is crucial that these students receive their one-on-one support even when they are in their mainstream classroom. I also saw how much the environments can impact the student’s ability to learn. In knowing this it is important teachers always adapt their lesson to attend to these needs of the student.