Through time, more and more people are being diagnosed with learning disabilities particularly those who are enrolled in colleges and universities. These learning impaired students have varying academic needs and governments work coordinately with parents develop strategies that will meet those needs. These strategies work even more effectively with special ed schools being multifunctional in developing as well as implementing special education programs. Parents on the other hand, bear the responsibility of taking the initiative in seeking all the necessary assistive programs appropriate for the student’s disabilities. But then, parents should also look deeper into the constructs of these colleges and universities that utilize a system for special education. Teachers who are considered as firm foundations of these institutions must also possess the needed characteristics and skills in order for them to effectively perform their responsibilities.
Special education teachers are not regular teachers. They bear an extremely important responsibility of helping learning impaired students cope with their academic deficits thus, they must be emotionally, intellectually, and psychologically prepared. Moreover, the presence of special tools and equipment are also important. The following is a list of the special characteristics of teachers that are crucial in determining the effectiveness of special ed schools:
• Patience is a virtue and a must among special ed teachers – teaching is a profession that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Handling a class of 30 – 50 students is not a joke and may require a lot of patience. And this is even a much harder task for teachers handling students with a variety of learning disabilities. Compared to regular students, learning impaired individuals are a few level behind when it comes to comprehending lessons, retrieving information from memory, general reading and writing skills, and lots more. Therefore, teachers should be able to deliver the lessons with more patience and understanding with their students’ present situation.
• Being well organized is the key – teachers in special ed schools should be well organized on all things and aspects that are directly and indirectly involved to their teaching profession. Keeping things well organized inside a classroom helps establish an environment that is conducive to learning. Such type of arrangement should be strictly followed and implemented among classrooms for special students since they need all the necessary aid in improving their study and learning skills.
• Whole hearted acceptance towards learning disabilities of students – according to studies, some students with learning impairments who were not enrolled under special education experienced total failure mainly out of the negative reactions from their teachers and peers due to their poor academic performances. Providing these special students a sense of belonging has a great impact on the improvement of their academic skills.
• Resourcefulness is the key with the touch of creativity – because of their disabilities, special students are observably far behind their classmates and peers when it comes to their level of intellectual capability. Teachers therefore, must be able to think out of the box and come up with bright new ideas to effectively help their students cope with their academic deficits as well as enjoy every learning experience.
• Optimism – every school day is a struggle for every learning impaired student. Their self-esteem is low and may seem to be losing hope by the minute. As secondary parents, teachers need to give these students a sense of hope and be able to see the good in them.
Special ed schools are extremely essential components in overcoming the challenges that underlie in every learning disability. It is composed of various factors that should be given with much consideration in order for every parent to provide the best special education program possible for the student.
Joy Hutton. Top 10 Special Education Teacher Qualities. Retrieved March 12, 2011 from http://www.alleducationschools.com/education-careers/special-education/teaching-special-education
Sue Watson. Qualities of a Good Special Education Teacher. Retrieved March 12, 2011 from http://specialed.about.com/od/teacherchecklists/a/qualities.htm