Classroom management is an essential skill for teachers, but can be particularly challenging in special education settings, where students’ needs vary so widely. In this course, you’ll learn strategies to help you manage your classroom, including how to establish a positive learning environment and how to use classroom management strategies to support different types of learners. By the end of this course, you’ll have the tools you need to create a welcoming space that will help all your students succeed.
As a special education teacher, you’ll have to incorporate classroom management strategies into your lessons and activities to help all students. Every student learns differently, and classroom management allows you to meet the needs of each individual student.
For example, you may have one student who needs a visual aid like an anchor chart on their desk to keep them focused. You may have another student who struggles with auditory processing, so they need specific directions in writing along with verbal directions.
The key to successful classroom management is knowing your students and what they need to be successful in your classroom.
Behavior management is a key component of effective teaching, and it can play a huge role in how successful students are throughout the year. Establishing clear rules and expectations for your students will help them understand what you expect from them and will allow you to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
In this lesson, we’ll discuss what classroom management is and why it’s important for special education teachers to learn how to manage their students’ behavior. We’ll also go over some strategies that you can use to manage your classroom effectively.
Be prepared to adapt your lessons to each student’s needs. If a student has trouble with reading or writing, for example, you may need to read the lesson aloud for the student or give the student extra time to complete assignments. Provide individualized instruction by allowing these students to work one-on-one or in small groups with other students who are not disabled. This allows them to receive individualized attention without feeling singled out as different from their peers.
Use visual cues in your classroom including charts and posters that outline the rules and expectations of your classroom. You can also use visual supports like picture schedules that show students what they will be doing during each period of the day. Physical cues such as standing in front of a certain area of the room can also help special needs students understand what is expected of them at any given moment.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a rewards system, here’s one that works well: start by setting one goal—something they’ll have to work toward, such as turning in their assignments on time or helping their fellow students with readings. Then break down that goal into smaller steps they can achieve every day. To do this, decide how many total points they need to achieve the goal—for example, if it’s turning in homework on time, maybe it’s 10 points per week. Then come up with small daily activities that earn points—for example, just for being prepared for class might be 2 points, and turning in one assignment could be 5 points. The key is consistency—it needs to be something they can accomplish every day so they feel like it’s an achievable goal.
To manage the classroom effectively, teachers should first set up their classrooms to help children focus on their work. This means making sure you have the right instructional materials and equipment, as well as an effective seating arrangement.
Increasingly, technology is playing a role in special education classrooms. Teachers are using tablets, laptops and other devices to teach students in ways that are motivating and engaging. While this technology is important, it must be used carefully in order to avoid distractions that can interfere with your students’ learning.
One of the most important things that can affect how easily you can manage your classroom is how your classroom is set up. The physical layout of your classroom will either help or hinder you when it comes to keeping an eye on your students. For example, if you have a room full of desks facing towards the front of the room, and all of the action happens in the front of the room (where you are), then it will be much easier for you to keep an eye on what your students are doing than if you had a bunch of tables spread out all over the room for group work.
Even if you have kids who need extra attention and help from time to time, it’s still usually best to keep these kinds of students at separate desks rather than putting them at one table together.
Classroom management is a challenge for even the most seasoned educator. Add special education to the mix, and this challenge feels nearly insurmountable. But the good news is that you are not alone! There are a variety of resources and tools available to help you learn how to manage your classroom better—and implement those strategies in real life.