Specialist Experience and Skills
I have had extensive experience teaching students with SEN which has allowed me to learn a lot about how to best support children with autism (verbal and non-verbal), ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, sensory needs and Down's syndrome. My primary-school teaching experience has led me to focus on teaching students with ASD in Special Needs Schools and in my private tutoring roles. I have used a range of different strategies to support ASD, including TEACCH, visual aids and communication aids including PECS. I have also had an opportunity to tutor students with a range of emotional needs and also... Read More
I have had extensive experience teaching students with SEN which has allowed me to learn a lot about how to best support children with autism (verbal and non-verbal), ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, sensory needs and Down's syndrome. My primary-school teaching experience has led me to focus on teaching students with ASD in Special Needs Schools and in my private tutoring roles. I have used a range of different strategies to support ASD, including TEACCH, visual aids and communication aids including PECS. I have also had an opportunity to tutor students with a range of emotional needs and also Looked After Children who are living with foster carers.
I have experience teaching non-verbal students and students who are select mute with high levels of anxiety. During my first Special Needs teaching experience, my class were a mixed level of ability including non-verbal students. We incorporated PECS and Makaton in the classroom, at transition periods, whilst meeting them in the morning at the taxi, during play times on the playground and escorting them to their transport in the afternoons. These students were very vulnerable but I ensured that they had the opportunity to be included in the class sessions where they could access activities at their own level. They also had the opportunity to be involved in drama/music sessions in the classroom and were part of the Harvest festival performance.
In terms of sensory integration for SEN students, I have used a daily sensory circuit to support their sensory needs. This really helped the children to refine and focus their concentration in preparation for the day's learning. The alerting area supports the student to focus or gives them 'a shake up' to get going. The organising section of the routine helps them to organise their body, plan their actions and do more than one thing at a time. It gives them a sense of awareness, focussing on balancing and rolling. The calming area is where the student can end the session by getting a nice, relaxing massage using a big bouncy ball. Pressure is applied on the student using the ball while they are lying on their stomach. The pressed sensation has helped to calm and ground the students. I have worked with students that have SPD and they have been provided with chew toys to support the reaction to their trigger point. I have put together a bag of items for them to help when they are over stimulated or under stimulated. The use of ear defenders are useful for classroom and quiet environments. Using a listening programme helps students to regulate themselves and supports them to focus back on their learning tasks as does a 10-15 minute running programme which is extremely effective and helps students to transition to the next task.
I have also enjoyed using music and drama in my lessons to support SEN students. This tool has been of paramount to students who excel in this area and it is pleasing to see the rewards it brings into the school community. The previous school setting I worked as a SEN Teacher, the students were very fortunate to have Christmas plays and end of year performances including Shakespeare Productions outside of the school. As a teacher, I supported the play and prepared all of the students for performances on stage during the school day and evening performances. The whole school benefits greatly doing these yearly shows and it really was a community spirit. I enjoy doing daily workout exercises in the morning to get students moving and get them 'ready for the day ahead'. Giving students a 'break out' for when the classroom setting is too noisy and allowing them five to ten minutes is of utmost importance to support their transition to the next task.
I really enjoy embedding computing and ICT (including Apps) into the curriculum. It is fascinating how this subject has evolved and developed so quickly. I enjoy exploring this topic and I find that it is an important tool in everyday life. Throughout my teaching experiences, I have always assisted with IT, supporting the IT technicians and IT Co-ordinators in schools. I enjoy showing the students new applications that will further their knowledge and move their learning on, giving them the confidence to tackle Computing whilst working on other skills e.g. Numeracy, Literacy and Science.
I also have experience tutoring high functioning ASD students and students with dyspraxia, having had success with supporting their learning and building on their strengths while tackling the areas of improvement. Students feel at ease during my sessions and I have the ability to break down the learning to help the student understand how to work out problems and what operation to use. I enjoy building up a good relationship with each student and they are comfortable in their own environment, ensuring they are equipped with the tools to overcome their barriers to learning. I currently tutor Maths to a student with dyspraxia carrying out online sessions. The sessions are broken down to support the student to understand the concepts taught. I liaise with his parent about the topics that are been covered at school and we work through the questions together. I show him different ways of doing e.g. multiplication and division word problems and use visuals to support his learning. He will choose the way that suits him best as he continues to apply his knowledge of times tables.
I enjoy providing children with differentiated learning tasks that give students the basic skills of Literacy including reading, writing, speaking and listening. Finding a topic of interest that the student is interested in has proved to be a real success for the student, giving them an incentive to engage with the subject in a meaningful way. Students have had a great sense of achievement in their projects and are proud to show off their learning to others. In 1:1 sessions, I used Horrid Henry books to support a student with their reading and this really helped their understanding including writing interesting reviews of each chapter.
As well as working with Key stage 2 and 3 students, I have a lot of experience teaching and tutoring Year 1 and Year 2 children, providing them with interactive and fun activities which help them to engage with the tasks while incorporating their different learning styles. I have used a range of interactive iPad based activities that the students have enjoyed, supporting both Numeracy and Literacy e.g. telling the time and phonic based activities. Students have been given the opportunity to learn about money by taking part in role play activities. I used this very effectively with a student who had ADHD and wasn't able to access the school setting. I used a role play activity, 'Going to the shop', acting as the shopper or the shopkeeper. This allowed him to learn and handle real money in a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere whilst building on their social and language skills too. Using Lego as a play based activity has really helped in their communication skills and allowed him to give instructions to support what he wanted to build. Both him and students have been enthused by a variety of practical activities involving measuring using a ruler and understanding the importance of getting accurate results whilst also been able to make a sensible estimate of the lengths of different items. When students struggle with paper and pen activities, they can access learning in a range of practical activities.
I believe that I am a problem solver and enjoy assisting colleagues to get different tasks completed to a high standard. I am an avid reader and really enjoy events like ‘Book Week’ and when visitors are invited into schools. Book Week is a fantastic time to incorporate everything linked to Literacy and it is also a time where everybody can get involved too. I believe in ‘Inclusion’ and that each child should be given the opportunity to be included in the curriculum where possible. I have also had the opportunity to build successful relationships with the parents/carers. I believe it is very important to maintain this communication to fully enhance the learning whilst making the connection to support each student.
Throughout my tutoring roles, I have also worked with students who were preparing for the 11+ exams and have experience working with a range of different abilities. I fully understand how important these exams are and I do consider the health of the student too. As each student is unique in their own way, some students will find academic subjects easier than others do. My experience of educating children both in the classroom and in a home setting has supported me to help students build up their confidence. In preparing for 11+, I understand the areas that the students need to cover and have tailored my lessons to suit the needs of the student. I carried out sessions by teaching the skills and used a range of different activities which suited the learning styles of each student.
As the 11+ is not covered in schools, I tutored a range of students in both English and Maths. During the sessions, I would focus on each subject individually. Depending on the needs and areas of development for the student, I would focus on each aspect and work on building up the students' interest and motivation, incorporating exercises and games to enhance core skills throughout the sessions e.g. crosswords, word searches, scrabble and other puzzles that involve word use. Reading poems, selected magazines and stories helped to build up the students' vocabulary and interest in topics.
I have worked through Bond Assessment Papers with students and also worked closely with the school's examination papers to establish the different questions students would need to carry out.
At the end of each session, I would communicate with the parents and explain how the sessions went, giving positive feedback. The students also have an opportunity to be proud of what they have achieved and understand the areas in which they need to work on. Once a rapport is built up between everyone involved, the sessions become very positive and the atmosphere is relaxing and enjoyable. It's rewarding to see students feel at ease in their learning environment and become confident in their ability.