I have 8 years experience working as a teacher within a SEN school, recently leading a satellite class. I have taught a range of ages, mostly aged between EYFS and KS1 however previously I also taught pupils up to year 6. My specialism is working with pupil’s with ASD, PDA, behavioural needs, communication/ language needs, and ADHD, but have also a large amount of experience with GDD and downs syndrome.
Skills & Experience
My specialist SEN experience (general): My final placement at university was within a local special needs school and although I had no previous experience within this teaching area, I quickly grew to love it. Whilst my friends would tell me experiences of how their class were learning about the Romans, I found it so much more rewarding hearing a child say their first word, making an early mark or gaining my trust. I was lucky enough to be offered a job in this school and now have 8 years of experience working with a range of different abilities, and adapting a lesson 10 ways to support each individual need!
My experience supporting children with autism: I have been fortunate enough to work with a wide range of needs within my experience however most of the pupils I have supported have a diagnosis of ASD. I have enjoyed the opportunity to get to know each individual and their needs. I have also benefited from a wide range of sensory processing training that has provided me with ideas and techniques to best support our pupils with Autism to encourage them to reach their potential. I have previously identified the needs for sensory circuits, visual supports (including first & then boards) and even fidgets (e.g. putty) to meet a child’s sensory needs whilst engaging within activities. Developing routine, structure and clear boundaries have been vital within my role so that I can support the child to focus on the learning concept being introduced. One intervention that I really enjoy using is attention autism, a fun attention building activity that can also reinforce the learning outcome. This has allowed children I have previously worked with to greatly develop their attention, communication and key skills, including play skills.
My specialist experience teaching English including reading, phonics and writing: Throughout my experience I have had a large focus on encouraging students to develop their literacy skills in a way that is fun and exciting to them. I have benefited from recent training within the “Read Write Inc” phonics programme with a focus on how this can be differentiated in order to support children with SEN. I am confident to develop literacy and reading skills, and enjoy using multi-sensory activities (such as feely books) to encourage engagement within reading tasks. Whilst some children may be reluctant to pick up a pen and engage within writing activities, I have enjoyed finding ways to motivate each child and how I can make writing tasks exciting for them. I have trained in activities including “Write Dance” (making set marks to music) in order to develop children’s early mark making. Sometimes, I have found it beneficial for children to practice their early mark making into sensory trays – a fun way to develop different letter shapes/marks.
My experience boosting confidence and self-esteem: I have worked with a range of children that may have previously been faced with a range of setbacks or situations that have left them feeling more anxious about themselves or their work. As suggested within Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it is important that pupils achieve “belonging” and “self – esteem” before they can reach “self-actualisation.” As a result, I find it very important to take time to get to know each individual and building a positive relationship with them. Sometimes, I have praised children or something that others may find very small, but to the child it holds great importance. Ways in which I build confidence are not always verbal and for some pupils, I have found body language or a simple high five can be extremely motivating and confidence boosting. Within my experience It has proved that if you demonstrate to a pupil that you believe they can achieve something, they very quickly start to believe this too.
My specialist experience providing fun sessions to help inspire a love of learning: As you can see within my teaching philosophy below, I am a firm believer that if a child is not enjoying or motivated by the activity then they are unlikely to want to engage and consequently, learn! As a result of this, one of the first questions I will always ask a pupil or their key person includes the special interests that the child has. By knowing these, I try to make learning relevant and motivating for the individual and as a result, hopefully maximising engagement and progress. I am extremely enthusiastic within my teaching and I try to use this to make learning fun, hands on and that we always finish with a smile and positive reinforcement.
My specialist experience teaching children with speech and language needs: Throughout the years I have enjoyed the opportunities to attend courses and learn from other agencies and professionals in addition to working alongside speech and language therapists in order to build a holistic approach to aid individuals progress. Although our children sometimes find it tricky to vocalise how they feel, I have enjoyed using PECS/SCERTS approach to PECS and some basic Sign-a-long to support them. I have built communication systems for my pupils to help them find their voice and communicate their needs or wants, both within class and the community.
My specialist experience supporting children to develop their social skills; I believe this coincides extremely well with aiding children to develop their speech/communication needs. It is vital that children are equipped with the skills to use their form of communication to access the “real world” and use their skills beyond the learning environment. I have spent time with pupil’s working to develop early social skills – such as playing games to focus on turn taking/waiting (which could also help reduce frustrations further down the line). Social situations can be daunting for anyone, however for a child with SEN it may also mean contending with unfamiliar sights/smells/expectations. Therefore, when supporting my previous pupil’s I always tried to ensure that children could see the real world application of the situations we were practicing and we had lots of fun meeting new people through trips to local shops developing our social skills in addition to our mathematical money knowledge.
Experience with behavioural challenges: Within my career I have experienced a range of behaviours and identified strategies of how to best support these. It important that relationships with parents/carers are also formed so that a consistent approach can be used to encourage success. I believe that a behaviour normal arises as a result of a need that the child may struggle to otherwise express. I am not afraid to support with behaviours and (hopefully!) identify how to reduce these.
Developing early skills: Without firm foundations, it is impossible to secure progress. I enjoy using a range of motivating non-conventional activities, such as “Write Dance” or “dough disco” to develop fine motor skills which can later aid writing or even tying shoe laces! I enjoy being creative within activities so that children are provided with memorable experiences to continue their later learning. In 2020 I attended a phonics course and it has been so exciting to implement this in class, and hear some of our pupils start to recognise their sounds or even read!
I always set …. high expectations: Merton’s theory of the self fulfilling prophecy is one which I try to implement within my teaching. Previously I have had students in one class, which were learning to count, whilst also encouraging some other pupils to tell the time and learn about clocks. I enjoy planning activities for a wide range of levels and encouraging each child to always reach towards the best of their ability.
My experience supporting children to develop their focus and concentration skills. If I am not interested or motivated by something then I struggle to sustain my usual focus within this. This is something that is also extremely true of our young learners and something I always remember within their lesson planning. I take time to get to know each individual and the types of lesson that will motivate them and encourage them to develop their focus and sustain attention throughout activities. However for some children sustaining attention to activities can still be a bit of a challenge and therefore I try to break tasks down into manageable “chunks” to ensure learners know that there is an end in sight and they do not become unmotivated. Over time I work to gradually increase the size “chunk” provided and similarly increasing attention and focus to the activities provided.
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Qualifications and Training
- BA Primary Education (Hons) With QTS NPQML (National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership)
- First aid at work and defibrillation instructor.
- Level 3 award in First Aid at Work
- Safeguarding children Level 2
- Sensory processing with GriffinOT – Level 1
- Cyber security awareness.
- Attention autism training
- Read Write Inc (Phonics Training)
- Team Teach trained.
- ASC (autism)
- ADHD & ADD
- PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)
- Early Years
- Primary (Maths & English Literacy)
- Social Communication & Language Skills
- Confidence and Self-Esteem
- Homework Support
My Teaching Philosophy
I believe it is important to make learning fun and enjoyable. If a child is not interested in something, it is important to catch their attention in a way that motivates and engages them. I enjoy getting to know each individual child and providing activities that reflect their interests and needs.
It is also key to form positive and trusting relationships, particularly with our most vulnerable learners. Knowing that they are respected and valued allows a child to feel more comfortable when accessing learning, and this is therefore when most progress happens.
Choose me if…
- You want enjoyable learning activities that will feel more like fun, than work to your child!
- You want somebody with a wide range of experience within the SEN sector, especially (ASD/GDD/ADHD)
- You want somebody who will get as excited for your child’s progress as you will.
- You want somebody who is dedicated and enthusiastic, I will give most things a go!
- You want somebody who is genuinely interested to get to know your child and how best to support their holistic need
Something Sensational About Me
I’ve spent a month teaching in Kenya! It was a great time living very traditionally, eating local cuisine and experiencing a completely education system and culture.
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