Published on: 07 May 2022
Making sense of a return to school after a chaotic couple of years; Pandemic Tales.
Returning to school after the pandemic has been a difficult process for all students, more so for those with special needs. So as educators what can we do to support this transition back into the classroom. Let’s explore some tips that could be useful in coping with these changes.
What you can do:
1. Change-understanding and supporting it
Most people struggle with change and are not comfortable with it. Returning to school means, new schedules, new teachers, new classrooms and maybe even a new school. Some students on the Autism Spectrum or with ADHD struggle with anything new and these can lead to emotional outburst and a very distraught learner. To help ease this transition, school visits ahead of the return, use of social stories, photos of classmates and teachers are some useful strategies.
2. Building a relationship
If we as educators don't take the time to listen, we will never understand the needs of teh students. It is only through this process, that we can truly build a rapport with the student. Listening to what they have to say is very crucial to get to the where they might require support. Understanding the unspoken messages are just as important too. Their body language may convey fears that you may not hear spoken about.
3. Modifications and accommodations
A student’s IEP is a very important document with priceless nuggets to support. Strategies in there are set up by the inclusion team to support the needs of the learners. Modifications and accommodations that required for example a vocabulary sheet with key words, a colour coded task showing the level of difficulty.
4. Social Skills
Having been in isolation for a good part of the last few years, any learners may need ‘practice’ on how to be a part of a classroom. Being a part of a group and having to share with so many others may become a challenge for many. Modelling required skills and role playing are some excellent ways to help ease this learner back into the classroom.
In conclusion, using some of these examples can help make the transition back to school much easier for everyone. We all need each other even more now after the challenging couple of years. CDC has more valuable tips to explore.
Harmeet Dhillon: Cofounder: Incluzun.com
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