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Four Ways to Make Teaching More Effective for Special Students

by Louise W. Rice

Undoubtedly, education plays an essential role in society. In addition to getting a better job, opening doors to opportunities, and becoming better citizens, education paves the way to reaching our highest potential.

It won’t be a stretch to say that today’s modern and industrialized world is running on the wheels of education.

While education is a medium for every member of society to grow and move forward, it is necessary, especially for individuals with special needs.

Every child with disabilities has the right to explore opportunities similar to their peers. However, regardless of the advancements and the progress made, disabled children are still the target of society’s negative feedback.

Most often, special needs students who face difficulties in other aspects of their lives cannot learn due to a lack of attention towards their education.

It is necessary to consider that just like other students; special students also have a fundamental right to equal opportunity of receiving a quality education.

In these circumstances, special education has played a significant role by imparting knowledge specifically to children with disabilities to help them succeed.

Different teaching approaches, care, and equipment are essential to help mentally or physically challenged students within and outside the classroom.

Classes arranged for special needs students will enable them to move forward, boost their confidence, and eventually contribute to society.

While special education aims to overcome the challenges of disability along with helping disabled individuals seek quality education, it focuses on creating strategies that would benefit them in the learning process.

So, as a teacher, here are some ways to make teaching more effective and meaningful.

1. Provide Resources for Learning

Children with expressive language disabilities cannot express themselves clearly, use proper sentence structure, or copy notes from the board.

Providing students with different resources or instruction will help them make notes in the classroom.

A teacher can allow special needs students who have difficulty writing to use word processors to check spellings and edit sentences.

To better understand the child, a teacher should explain words through comparison and contrast. Sharing what other students write in the classroom will help students understand the topic better.

As a teacher, you could allow students to show you an outline of the information sequence to help them if they were wrong or had issues understanding.

If a student(s) cannot keep up with a lecture during the class, allowing them to tape-record it would be an excellent idea to instill valuable knowledge.

2. Create Groups

Special needs students struggle with emotional maturity and thinking skills that would be useful in practical life.

However, to help bring forth analytical skills, an educator can divide students into small groups and provide them with small achievable goals to work towards in a given time frame.

While such a strategy helps students, it is also beneficial for teachers. Grouping every individual based on their level of skills allows teachers to personalize their teaching style without compromising the time and quality of education.

It is essential to ensure that to create a sense of teamwork in the students, and a teacher should arrange activities children enjoy.

3. Demonstrate Co-operative Learning in Classroom

It allows students to incorporate the knowledge they acquired into an environment similar to the one they will face in practical life.

Teachers can work on students’ communication skills and competencies essential to the child’s journey to success.

Co-operative learning is not time-consuming, with some strategies taking less than 5 minutes or little to no preparation.

Among the common strategies are think-pair-share and circle-the-sage, which are less time-consuming and don’t require a lot of preparation.

Think-pair-share is ideal for teachers who encounter situations where similar students answer questions every time.

A teacher asks a question from the entire class; students take time to write down their answers, which are discussed with their classmates, after which the teacher randomly picks a pair to share answers with the whole class.

On the other hand, circle-the-sage allows students to listen to the information shared by their class fellows in answer to the question asked by the teacher.

4. Specialized instructions

Students with reading disabilities have difficulty understanding meanings and identifying details. Teachers can help such students by encouraging them to re-read the chapter to avoid confusion.

As an educator, you can summarize the main points in notes to explain the subject matter.

Teachers can allow pocket calculators when necessary for students facing math problems. Students can choose a different color for components whereas, numbers and columns can have a different colors to better visualize the situation in front of them.

Children with a short attention span cannot focus on the task at hand for longer durations, so teachers can develop a secret code to know when a student isn’t paying attention.

The secret code could be the teacher walking up to the child’s desk to determine when their concentration has shifted.


Regardless of how society looks down upon children with disabilities, special education is necessary because it allows disabled children to seek knowledge similar to their peers.

It enables individuals to reach their potential and gain confidence in practical life. Personal growth and development for children with disabilities are essential for achieving the highest potential academically and personally.

It is difficult for disabled students to keep up with most learning processes; therefore, special education plays a significant role in overcoming these challenges.

An educator should find ways to impart knowledge through strategies suitable to the individual’s needs.

Using different tools and focused teaching methods will help these children understand the information provided better and have a chance to succeed in life.

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