As a fully qualified GCSE and A-level Maths (including IB), Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics), ICT and English teacher, I have substantial experience teaching pupils with SEN and additional needs including those with Autism (high-functioning), Dyslexia, Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, ADHD as well as EBD and Gifted and Talented. I have over 20 years' teaching experience in the UK and have successfully taught children from all backgrounds.
My specialist Science and Maths experience teaching students with a variety of additional needs, including those with high-functio... Read More
As a fully qualified GCSE and A-level Maths (including IB), Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics), ICT and English teacher, I have substantial experience teaching pupils with SEN and additional needs including those with Autism (high-functioning), Dyslexia, Sensory Processing Disorder, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, ADHD as well as EBD and Gifted and Talented. I have over 20 years' teaching experience in the UK and have successfully taught children from all backgrounds. My specialist Science and Maths experience teaching students with a variety of additional needs, including those with high-functioning autism, dyscalculia and dyslexia:
I have taught SEN pupils including those with Dyslexia, Autism (high-functioning), behaviour challenges, language difficulties, Dyscalculia, ADHD as well as EBD for more than 20 years. Although most of my teaching has been within the mainstream where there represent about a quarter of the student population, I have also had the opportunity to teach and support these student one-on-ones through tutoring organisations.
At Rokeby School, I was made the numeracy coordinator, a role that would ensure the SEN students had full access to the maths curriculum. Over the years, I have found the role of a Maths teacher to be very fulfilling, especially when I see my students build self-confidence and self-esteem, make progress, and get good results in their examinations such as their 11-plus exams, GCSEs and A levels.
At Marathon High School of Excellence, I was part of the GCSE/IGCSE/IB and A Level maths and Science team that led our students to outstanding results for three consecutive years. For two years out of three, I was in charge of the science department while at the same time working with and assisting the maths department. I have always been aware of the constant need to differentiate learning and present students with SEN with short and manageable tasks that could be learned, repeated or managed to reinforce learning. That way, a child with additional needs or a limited attention span for that matter, is able to complete the task and receive feedback, before moving on to the next task. This helps to boost confidence and independence, which are integral. The child or young adult may also need to have the task revisited to reinforce consistency and understanding. The same will apply to the student with autism, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, or dyslexia who may need to have the task revisited to reinforce consistency and understanding.
I have taught many students that have made exceptional progress in maths and science at all levels from primary/middle school to advanced GCSE and advanced levels.
Over the years, I have found the role to be very fulfilling, especially where I have seen most of these learners make build self-confidence and esteem, make progress, and get good results in their examinations. Though every learner has been unique, I believe that they all share something in common namely, the need to overcome barriers and begin to enjoy learning. To this end, part of my strategy is to enable them build their self-confidence. I do so through enable them to achieve, identifying and praising their effort and achievement, and setting achievable goals and targets. My experience teaching students with Autism:
Students with autism may have problems with social communication skills and organisational skills, irrespective of their age, skill, or intelligence. If not well managed, they may miss out due to inability to enable them to harness their potential for success. Not only this, they may have challenges with abstract and conceptual thinking, and can be confused by instructions or presentations that are vague.
With these in mind, I make sure that tasks, or instructions are clear and specific. Also, I endeavour to avoid unnecessary overload of work, and make sure that tasks are repetitive and manageable. In the course of the session I look out for signs of unusual or difficult behaviours. I am aware that stress may be the main cause, and would therefore change the subject, or remove the learner from the source of anxiety. I prepare my student for routines as well as changes and outline expectations with uttermost clarity.
Above all, I am aware that every learner is unique and different. With that in mind I lay more emphasis on knowing my student, and allowing that to inform my planning and delivery of instructions and the curriculum for that matter. My experience teaching students with dyscalculia:
I have taught students within the mainstream students with dyscalculia, and am very aware of specific and persistent difficulty in understanding numbers. I had students at Woodside in this category, and their condition could lead to a diverse range of difficulties with mathematics. To counter these I employ the following strategies: 1) I find it always useful to do a baseline assessment. That enables me to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses. Once known, I allow these to inform my planning accordingly; 2) I resist using worksheet, and ensure that task is broken into simple steps; 3) once task or process is understood, I employ mastery approach, thereby ensuring that the learner has mastered those concepts; 4) I identify, and praise effort and achievement, thereby boosting their confidence in learning; 5) Learn do not shy away from assisting the learner to learn and use the language of mathematics; 6) I am aware that they are likely to be visual learners. I therefore create Visual Models, that help make work easier for learners. My overall strategy to work with students with additional needs including dyslexia, processing difficulties, dyscalculia and autism is underpinned by my Teaching Philosophy, which is outlined below:
When a learner has processing disorder:
- I learn about how the child copes with their condition and allow that to inform my planning accordingly;
- I apply consistency in my approach to my lesson planning and delivery;
- I define expectations for the child and manage them with Rewards and Praise;
- I use Clear and Simple Messages to enable the child understand the task and access learning accordingly;
- I offer Praise Establish a Routine for my learner;
- I demonstrate believe in the learner and this usually leads to positive results.
I use Visual Models, that help make work easier for learners. Again, I resist using worksheet, and ensure that task is broken into simple steps: 1) I keep instructions short, and make sure that they are well sequenced. 2) Once task or process is understood, I employ mastery approach, thereby ensuring that the learner has mastered those concepts well. 3) I identify, and praise effort and achievement, thereby boosting their confidence in learning. My experience teaching GCSE/IGCSE/IB and A-Levels, 7+, 11+, 13+, Scholarship Exams:
I have extensive experience of teaching/ tutoring the Sciences and Mathematics from KS1-KS5 including 7+, 11+, 13+, Scholarship Exams, GCSE/IGCSE and A-Levels. I was the former numeracy coordinator at Rokeby School; a leading independent preparatory school for boys near Kingston. I ensured that all students, including those with SEN and additional needs including Dyslexia, Autism, Dyscalculia, ADHD had full access to the Mathematics curriculum. Indeed, my students' success rate was 100 percent A* -B 13+, including 4 scholarships to Westminster Boys.
Though every learner has been unique, I believe that they all share something in common namely, the need to overcome barriers and begin to enjoy learning. To this end, part of my strategy is to enable students to build their self-confidence. I do so through enabling them to achieve, identifying and praising their effort and achievement, and setting achievable goals and targets.
I have an excellent track record for maintaining a high standard of management portfolios as consultant educationists, through cautious approach to due diligence and rigorous application of knowledge, technical and fundamental analysis. I am a good communicator with a high level of IT skills; both practical and theoretical knowledge and would like to bring these performance-enhancement skills into this field of work. With regards to dyspraxia, I employ the following strategies:
I pay attention to writing including pen or pencil gripping and spatial management of paper; I consider alternatives to activities requiring handwriting, including tracing, and retracing; where necessary, I include touch-typing to help train the muscles in the fingers, and enhance or supplement writing skills; I make sure that breaks are provided within short intervals; schedules are also well structured, as well as revisited to ensure that skills are well mastered. My specific experience teaching Gifted and Talented young children, those with sensory processing disorder and those with challenging behaviour:
In 2008 at Southwark Virtual School I had 2 students, namely child X- 6 years, and Y 8 years. They were both gifted and talented and brothers. Both would switch off, if they did not find the task challenging and engaging. However, notably child X who had sensory processing disorder had short attention span, and would frequently put chew the end of his pen and not focus. Once they lost focus, it was difficult to get them back on track.
So, I put the following systems and strategies in place in order to address the problem:
1. I made sure they were both seated comfortably and away from each other. Where possible, we arranged for them to have their sessions at different times, so attention could be focused on the individuals.
2. The task would be engaging as well as challenging, and would last for not more that ten minutes at a go, including assessment and feedback.
3. I try and avoid sensory overload, by focusing more learning on a specific task and style, namely audio or visual learning.
4. I am aware that tactile or kinaesthetic learning might be difficult to be processed. I therefore do not use those methods unless extremely necessary.
5. Child x was a great fun of brown biscuits, so we made sure that was readily available during short breaks between tasks. That way, he was less prone to putting stuff in his mouth while doing his task.
Both students made great process, to the extent that both exceeded their targets by one level by the end of the year. Recent quotes from clients/parents:
“Hi Obeng, tried calling you to let you know the good news. We heard over the weekend that Dan got offered a pace at UCS. Thanks again for your efforts in helping to prepare for his assessment. Regards Gary”
“Hi Mr De Lawrence, just to let you know that Isa got A in her Physics GCSE, and Bs in Biology and Chemistry. She is delighted! Many thanks for all your help. I hope that you had a good summer. Best regards, TM-Dare.”