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teaching kids with disabilities 
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MES-Fanatic!

Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:54 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Kanagawa, Japan
Post teaching kids with disabilities
i recently taught a "can you....?" lesson for sports. unfortunately due to the curriculum pictures and my lack of understanding of the situation at the time, one of my students had to reply "no, i cant" to all of the questions. this particular child is unable to walk and all the pictures involved some sort of running. reflecting back on the lesson, the childs self esteem must have been very low, since all the other kids could answer "yes, i can." i failed to ask a question that this child could answer 'yes' to. i feel very bad about this and would like to share this with others so that if they are ever put in a similar situation, they will not make the same mistake i did. it should remind us that teachers need to be flexible and need to create a learning environment that will cater for everyone. kids just want to have fun.


Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:30 am
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MES-Fanatic!

Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2006 2:27 pm
Posts: 70
Location: Austria
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Dear Azza,

I know how you feel. I'm glad you posted the awkward situation. I teach seniors. At one of our first lessons, a woman's husband had recently died, but I didn't know that. We were practicing "family members", and I asked everyone the name of their mom or dad or spouse. Her chin sunk to her chest, and she kept gargling out this noise which I misinterpreted. I thought she was simply trying to clear the frog in her throat when, in fact, she was on the verge of falling apart. I too felt terrible.
The good thing is that we do come away from such an experience with a broader look. Hopefully your posting this scene will help us consider our students' needs.


Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:39 pm
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MES-Fanatic!

Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 6:54 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Kanagawa, Japan
Post kids with mental disabilities
i also teach kids with mental disabilities. they are immersed in normal classes, which i think is fantastic, but it can also be very challenging. i was never taught how to teach kids with special needs. it was only through trial and error that i found some of the things that they can enjoy and some things that they dont enjoy. however, you have to keep in mind that you want to keep everyone in the class happy. it can be quite a difficult situation.

games that require speed (whether it be speaking or some physical activity) are too difficult to use as it puts them at a disadvantage. games that require mind to hand or foot coordination also create some awkward and frustrating moments. games that require tactics (such as connect 4) also create an angry environment if the game is in teams, because they dont seem to process information the same way.

games that are enjoyable include bingo and various board games. however, there is a limit as to how often you can use the same format of game before the kids start getting bored of it. essentially games that dont depend on student ability are best. i am hoping that people can help me with other game ideas or any other techniques that i can put into place.

i find teaching kids with mental disabilites is very rewarding, because they do tend to have a good long term memory and can remember words long after everyone else has forgotten them. i just wish i could come up with a greater variety of things for them to enjoy.


Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:06 pm
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MES-Zealot!

Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:57 pm
Posts: 135
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Azza,
Thanks for sharing. It's obvious you are a dedicated teacher who wants to find ways to reach all your students.
I was once assisting a class where a slow student gave a perfect answer to a question and his classmates actually cheered! It was truly heartwarming. The teacher has the power to create a positive learning environment.
Your students are lucky to have such a caring teacher.


Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:28 pm
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