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Advice for a new SEN teacher.

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by missbumblebee123, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. missbumblebee123

    missbumblebee123 New commenter

    Hello all!

    I am currently and NQT and for my 2nd year of teaching I am transferring to work in the wonderful world of special education. I have a KS1/KS2 class, the children in my class have ASD/MLD and range from P5 - 1C. I was wondering what your top tips would be for a teacher about to start work in a special school? What are your must have resources? Are there any books I should read over summer? Also any advice on what you do in your first week in September with your new class would be gratefully appreciated. I feel like I'm starting out all over again! I'm excited and eager to learn so any advice is very gratefully appreciated.

    Thank you! :)
  2. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    Welcome to special Bumble. There has been a lot of advice over the years for teachers in your position. It's worth searching for it and reading the comments of special teachers a term or so into their "special" teaching.

    The best advice I can give is to take time to get to know your class as individuals and let them know and trust you, your rules, routines and methods. Actively teach them what you expect, don't just expect them to pick it up.. basics like where they put completed work, where you keep the things they will need and what they can and can't get for themselves. They need to learn how to learn independently. Once they know that, you are freed up from the mundane tasks such as "giving out" and "collecting in" and can concentrate on their learning.

    Keep in touch and let us know how it goes.
  3. Jo3Grace

    Jo3Grace New commenter

    Hello Bumble

    Such a broad question. Dzil's suggestion of reading around the forum is a good start point. And keep us in mind for when you've got a particular question. Meanwhile I've some free planning on http://Jo.element42.org that might be a good start point.

    Kind regards

    Jo Grace
  4. missbumblebee123

    missbumblebee123 New commenter

    Thank you - I have spent some time reading through old forum posts and it has been very useful! I have also jut read your book about sensory stories Jo. I have really been inspired. I have a transition afternoon next week and I am considering doing a sensory story in this time - do you think this is a good idea or should I wait until I know the children better? Planning a session for children I don't know is turning out to be a little bit challenging!

    Thank you again for your advice, I can't wait to start properly teaching in special! :)
  5. jumpingstar

    jumpingstar New commenter

    im in the same situation

    after 13 years mainstream I'm going special - feel like an NQT again!
  6. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    Welcome to special Jess. If it's for you, it's the best job in the world, and a nightmare if it's not! Keep in touch, we're here to help.
  7. jumpingstar

    jumpingstar New commenter

    Thanks - I've been aiming for this for a good few years! So hopefully it is for me! I can't imagine it not being!

    Thanks and will do :)
  8. alibh

    alibh New commenter

    I am also starting a new post in a SEN school. I start in a few weeks and have no idea where to being. Does anyone have any suggestions for what resources/ classroom setup is should have ready for the first day? I have 5 pupil who all have ASD. I also have 3 assistants in the class. Beginning to feel out of my depth!!
  9. dzil

    dzil Occasional commenter

    Welcome to special. I'm a bit out of touch with ASD classes in special schools but hopefully someone else with more experience in this area will be along to help soon.
  10. jumpingstar

    jumpingstar New commenter

    welcome to the feeling of feeling out of depth! Me too and I have 7 ASD pupils! What age are yours? Primary or Secondary? Do you know anything about the children like Levels? Are they verbal or non verbal? Have you been into the school and know what you have in place already? Are the TA's experienced members of staff within the school? If so they will probably be your rocks... I know mine will be ! Don't worry - they will help out so much - especially if they know the school/children.
  11. Jo3Grace

    Jo3Grace New commenter

    How did transition week go? Did you do a sensory story?

    Make sure you both enjoy your summer holidays. You'll need all the recharging you can get before September (you too Dzil!)
  12. alibh

    alibh New commenter

    I have primary ages children aged 8-10. I'm currently trying to look at the curriculum and planning on how I will adapt it but there isn't much I can do until I get to know the children. I'm just worried that my class isn't going to be set up right or I won't have the right resources in place for week one. I know how distressing it can be for some of these children if they are faced with something new. My poor TA's will need to look after me at first I think. Luckily I have 3 assigned to me. It's nice to know there are people out there in a similar position. I'm in Scotland so start back in a few weeks!!
  13. rosiecg

    rosiecg Occasional commenter

    Hi all those new to special!

    I'm doing my NQT year in a special school - I started in January so I'm 2/3 through already. I felt a bit panicky before I started as I felt that I didn't know enough and that I would be letting the children down by needing to start from scratch even though it was halfway through the year for them.

    I didn't need to have worried - my teaching assistants (6 of them!!) have been absolutely amazing. They helped me sort out a timetable, get to know each child, learn the school systems... Even things like where to go to get my lunch, or how to use the photocopier - they all just wanted to help.

    So, like others have said, don't be afraid to use your TAs as much as you possibly can, ask lots of questions, and just get stuck in. The kids won't mind if you get things wrong, or if you look a bit silly. They'll probably enjoy themselves more if you do get into some interesting situations!

    Good luck everyone :)

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