Specialist Experience and Skills
My SEN specialist teaching experience: autism (high-functioning, verbal and non-verbal), challenging behaviour, speech and communication delay, ADD/ ADHD, processing disorder, Down's Syndrome, working memory, PDA, dyslexia, dyspraxia, sensory needs, epilepsy and other Special Educational Needs: I have had extensive experience teaching students with SEN which has allowed me to learn a lot about how to best support children with a variety of additional and special needs. Throughout my experience teaching and tutoring SEN students, including those with autism, they have benefited greatly from m... Read More
My SEN specialist teaching experience: autism (high-functioning, verbal and non-verbal), challenging behaviour, speech and communication delay, ADD/ ADHD, processing disorder, Down's Syndrome, working memory, PDA, dyslexia, dyspraxia, sensory needs, epilepsy and other Special Educational Needs: I have had extensive experience teaching students with SEN which has allowed me to learn a lot about how to best support children with a variety of additional and special needs. Throughout my experience teaching and tutoring SEN students, including those with autism, they have benefited greatly from my use of visual aids and resources. As students have a wide range of learning styles, a visual prompt has proven to be very effective which allows students to understand what their learning task is. This gives them the confidence to undertake their learning at their own level and they gain ownership over it almost straight away. With my extensive primary teaching experiences coupled with my skills in working with SEN students, I can give students opportunities to achieve success in the Primary subjects in a structured approach while giving them space to practice the skills independently. My teaching experiences has led me to focus on teaching students with ASD (autism) in Special Needs Schools and in my private tutoring roles. My subject specialism is in Maths and I specialise in teaching Maths to all abilities throughout the Primary phases. My tutoring experiences have given me avenues to explore the KS3 curriculum as I teach low level learners up to their GCSE level. I have used a range of different engaging but 'fun' strategies to support ASD, including TEACCH, visual aids and communication aids including PECS, and have a thorough understanding of how to teach social skills and social awareness to all students. I have also had an opportunity to tutor students with a range of emotional needs, adopted students, students in care and also Looked After Children who are living with foster carers. During my teaching experiences, I have worked alongside a student with epilepsy, the school nurse made it of high priority and importance to train all of the teachers and support staff on epilepsy as it was necessary in the setting. The student quickly learned how to manage the condition but it was of high importance that staff were able to assist appropriately as she was a residential student and she regularly went out on trips into the community with her class, whole schools trips- camping, excursions abroad, Steel Band performances, Shakespeare workshops, trips to the Royal Albert Hall. We, as a staff were able to support her adequately should anything happen in our care. The female student had seizures while in school but she felt safe and secure because she always felt well cared for and she recovered well in a secure environment.
My specific experience working with students with autism: I have extensive 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 have good knowledge and experience working with students with dyspraxia, supporting them to organise their thoughts and ideas to allow them to carry out different writing tasks/projects in English. Students will use a range of graphic organisers to arrange what they are planning to write. This will take the form of a planning format or an outline where they will brainstorm their ideas and get all their thoughts down on paper, asking questions and researching about the topic. Once the student becomes excited and is more comfortable about the topic, then I will support them to begin the writing process where the learning comes to life and the student is taking more ownership over their learning. The brainstorming ideas that they have created will be transferred into their writing and they will be given opportunities to edit their work, drafting and re-drafting their writing. Support will be given where necessary and students are proud of their writing. In English, writing and reading are very much linked together and some students will really excel in reading which will support them to use their imagination in their writing tasks, allowing them to make progress and reach their full potential.
My skills and experience developing trusting relationships with students with SEN including autism: During my teaching career and tutoring roles, I have worked closely and positively with SEN (ASD) students on all aspects of their development so they can rely on me as their teacher. I firmly believe that a trusting relationship between myself and the student should be formed first and foremost to ensure a positive learning experience takes place. During my tutoring roles, I have had many successful working, engaging relationships with ASD students where I have spent a lot of time understanding their interests, building up a good relationship with them and allowing them to complete learning projects in a way that suits their learning style. The outdoor curriculum has many avenues to tap into the mind of the ASD student and the list is endless when you bring imaginative and adventurous learning out into the outdoors. I love being outside and I share a lot of the interests of an ASD student. The range of different sports plays a vital role in our physical and mental well being which lends itself into our education about the world around us too. In conclusion, I have successfully been able to develop trusting relationships with both the SEN students and their families too.
My experience working with children with demand avoidance (PDA), challenging behaviour, complex needs, anxiety and sensory needs: During my teaching experiences in SEN schools, I have taught students with high functioning autism, PDA with high levels of anxiety and sensory needs. These students benefit greatly from an individualised learning plan and timetable where they understand what is happening at each part of the day. Students will be more prepared for the day ahead and can have an agreement with the staff about what the day will look like for them. The challenges that they face on a daily basis are immersed into the school day and they will avoid every day demands that are placed on them e.g. getting up in the morning, their transport to school if disrupted, writing, behaving appropriately on the bus and with staff who are taking them to class, wanting to take toys with them on educational visits. Supporting these students in a calm, empathetic way has given me the tools to engage with them by negotiating about what they can and cannot do on e.g. going out into the community with the class. This approach has proven successful as they feel that they are included in the agreement and allows them to progress in both their behaviour and learning in a positive way. When the student faces challenges in the day e.g. washing his hands before dinner, it it important for the student to work on this on a daily basis and set up an achievable plan for him to navigate his way through it. He benefited from doing a 'talking therapy' with a trusted adult, going over his basic hygiene and doing practical activities to support him with why it was good practice to wash his hands before eating.
Specialist experience working with children with speech and language, and communication delay: As well as working with Key stage 2 and Key Stage 3 students, I have a lot of experience teaching and tutoring children and young adults including those students who have speech and language delays, 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, with speech and language delays. He 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 his social and language skills too. Using Lego as a play based activity has really helped in his 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 and interactive activities which make the learning enjoyable. Within my roles, I have worked closely with older students up to age 20 and supported students with language delays. Using a visual back up as much as possible in sessions has helped these students access their learning e.g. facial expression and gesture, visual timetables, symbols, visual timers, using video clips to show demonstrate processes etc. Throughout my work in Special schools, I have used Sign a Long and Makaton effectively to support students with signing as another way to communicate, supporting the way they can communicate with down syndrome students and students with hearing impairments. These signing systems were used on a daily basis and throughout the school. I have also completed all the necessary training in both Sign a Long and Makaton, showing a special interest in these communication systems.
Specialist experience with non-verbal students: I also 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. My SEN teaching and tutoring experiences of non verbal students have been successful with the support of different communication aids. Students feel at ease when they are able to use the technology aids to communicate and work on different tasks set. I have enjoyed building up positive relationships with these students and working through their visual timetables to guide them through each session.
Integrating visual aids to support students, including those with ASD (autism): Throughout my experiences, I have supported students to be more independent and take more control over their learning. By giving them opportunities to complete tasks with gentle advice and reassurance, they strive to achieve the learning objective at their own level. I have guided students who struggle with 'working memory' tasks e.g. sequencing the events of a story while understanding what the story means. This activity is done through a range of different ways to suit the learning style of the student. Visual prompts with written sentences and going over the text, asking questions to ensure they understand the text is an effective strategy for some students. I have supported students to learn an address e.g. Asda or a library and then navigate their way to this location. A lot of the students I have worked with benefit greatly from the use of visuals. Therefore, I have consistently used visuals in both the classroom and for home tuition to support their visualisation skills. Another effective way is to get students to communicate their struggle by practising what they need to work on. This can be done through teacher modelling or paired work. The student will become more comfortable as they continue to work on the skills they need to improve. Making the learning fun is a key strategy in supporting students to overcome their learning barriers and also making the learning meaningful to students by playing a range of games e.g. simple card games. Students have to remember the rules of the game, also what cards they have and what cards other players have played. I encourage active reading in my sessions for students to take notes or underline important information as they are reading the text so that they understand the text better. During my 1:1 sessions, I have supported students to make connections by giving them a way to remember different things e.g. Trigonometry 'Sohcahtoa'- 'Some Old Horses Can Always Hear Their Owners Approach' Using a planner for students to write tasks down and remember to refer to these when completing e.g. homework tasks or follow up work to ensure students are reminded of what they need to do is an important skill. This will really help with their confidence and independence. I fully support this strategy and believe it will help students in the long term.
Ability to use the student's interests e.g. cooking, science and music: During a long term placement with a student, we developed his cooking abilities and carried out weekly cooking sessions. This gave him a sense of independence as he was able to showcase his talents in the kitchen but also developed his reading, writing, hygiene and safety at the same time. This was a good avenue in to further his skills in English while build on his self esteem and confidence. Science also played a huge part in tapping into his knowledge of the world around him, including the Solar System. His love of music/singing and his aspirations of being a rock star in America gave him the tools to create some amazing poems. This interest showed him that once he put his mind on something, he was able to pick a topic he enjoyed and then this altered his attitude of writing and reading. As the sessions were developing in English, he was able to excel and produce some quality pieces of writing. His parents were really happy about how much of a positive change he was making in his learning and his willingness to engage in his education.
Experience working alongside Speech and Language Therapists: As part of my teaching roles in Special schools, I worked closely with a range of Speech and Language therapists who were actively involved in sessions with the students. They were able to give good advice to support the students in the class. They paired up with students in 1:1 and class sessions. Depending on the needs of the students, the speech and language therapist ran weekly speech and language sessions to support their communication, giving them tools to be able to use on a daily basis. They were able to fine tune their Makaton signing and I collaborated with the therapists in the planning of each session. The use of Lego therapy by the Speech and Language team was used with the classes I taught and it really motivated the students to work together. In conclusion, I have highly valued working alongside Speech and Language therapists and felt their input was essential in the students' progress at school.
My experience boosting confidence and self-esteem: It is important to boost the confidence of ASD students, supporting and encouraging them on a continuous basis, building up their self esteem as they work on areas that they thrive in. During my teaching sessions, we work on positive building sessions and discuss about all the amazing things that they can do. They enjoy listing off the positive things things they have accomplished and it is a good way to look back over their achievements. I have seen how they quickly progress over time on a daily basis and also weekly/monthly when reporting to parents. The students get a great sense of achievement and are really proud of their learning. Over time, when a positive bond is formed between each student, I can highlight their strengths, focussing on these qualities and give them lots of praise which boosts their belief in themselves, giving them an enormous amount of confidence in their academic abilities.
My skills and experience working with families and students to help them unlock and reach their full potential: Throughout my teaching experiences, I have worked closely with the families and their children to support them with their education including their overall development. By meeting with them initially at the beginning of the year, finding out how the children can be supported in the home environment, I will give the parents the necessary tools to practice, revising over the skills that have been covered in school. It is really encouraging when parents can take an active part in their child's journey through school and it is pleasing to see that children are happy to engage, showing off what they have been learning and applying this in e.g. problem solving activities. While working as a Year 1 teacher in an International School in Bangkok, I built up strong and positive relationships with the parents. These students were bubbly and enthusiastic, it was a joy to come to work and teach them through a cross-curricular curriculum. We used a 'communication book' with each child to support and enhance what they were achieving in school. It was also an opportunity for the parents to relate to me what they were working on at home and if they were able to work on their homework etc Working 1:1 with families in my recent tutoring experiences has allowed me to teach the student to the best of my ability and allowing the child to explore avenues to reach their full potential in e.g. English and Maths. The parents have always been helpful to take on board the advice given after each session and work on e.g. follow up tasks with their child to enhance their learning further. One parent commented before a session, 'He's taking everything in, like a sponge!' It is so rewarding when you hear that both parents and their children are happy with how the sessions are developing, it makes everything run smoothly. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with students in 1:1 sessions and you can establish a positive working atmosphere with them as they develop throughout their education.
My skills and experience teaching English and Maths: Throughout my primary teaching career, I have specialised experience teaching the English and Maths curriculum to a range of different year groups. During these experiences, I have differentiated tasks and taught the activities to suit the learning style of the students, providing interactive tasks where the classes were engaged throughout the lessons. The use of cross curricular topics made the learning more meaningful to the children and the students made good progress throughout the year. As well as teaching English and Maths in large classes, I have also taught students in smaller groups and in 1:1 tutoring sessions. I have really enjoyed working with students to develop their strengths further in these subjects and also to focus on the areas of development to improve their levels, ensuring they understand each task. Within my teaching of English, I have supported students to access their learning by teaching them a range of genres, story writing, phonics and also a guided session on SPAG - Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. This interactive session was incorporated into the daily English lesson and students benefited greatly from learning about applying punctuation and grammar in their writing.
My skills and experience being creative and teaching a broad curriculum (a wide range of subjects), including helping to develop ICT skills: As part of the roles that I have acquired, a topic based curriculum makes teaching exciting and interesting as you can interlink the topic with a range of subjects. There are so many ways to involve students in their learning and build on their creative skills whilst teaching them the subject in its own right. While working as a teacher and tutor, I enjoy bouncing off ideas with my colleagues to plan exciting lessons and creating resources to support our students so they can develop their motivation and interest of each topic e.g The Egyptians/The Romans or taking a popular film and exploring the themes - The Wizard of Oz, The Lion King or one of Roald Dahl books - James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG etc The students were able to create a range of different props for each topic e.g. roman armour, roman/Egyptian booklets, collection of majestic materials used in Egyptian times, these were used to develop their art skills and also used in drama/role play sessions in the classroom. Students have enjoyed developing the topics further when we have organised events like e.g. A Roman day in the classroom, students have been enthusiastic to decorate their classrooms like a roman scene and fully embraced themselves into different characters. Additionally, I have a passion to teach the practical side of the curriculum and teach students how to cook or create a range of dishes, supporting them to learn about healthy eating. Students use and apply their culinary skills in the kitchen, developing their artistic flairs and incorporating their skills of evaluating how each dish was carried out, what they did well and what could be improved next time. The interactive learning intertwines itself into IT and I have always ensured students had the opportunity to learn important skills on the computer/ipad e.g. using the keyboard, typing, navigating their way around word documents and using the internet/google for research etc. In every role I have been involved in, I will search out areas of IT for the classes I teach e.g. students can access interactive literacy and numeracy games on the computer to apply what they already know in their knowledge of times tables, sequences, phonics, interactive stories etc Colleagues have commented in the past that my teaching and knowledge of IT was of a high standard as I was always keen to find other ways to show students how they can learn if they were struggling with pen and paper activities.
My skills and experience teaching drama: Teaching is like a drama in itself and I have always thoroughly enjoyed the drama aspect of teaching. Many of my English lessons have had a role play element linked to the lesson where students can express themselves and immerse into the role they are acting. Children have a lot of fun with the characters they are playing and can interact with their peers in a range of drama based situations. Students have also had opportunities to show case their talents in 'class assemblies', end of year shows, Christmas concerts, drama workshops etc and I have co-ordinated the class, supporting students with their performances, acting out a range of stories from early years right through to Secondary age students e.g. We're Going on a Bear Hunt, The Tiger Who Came To Tea, The Wizard of Oz, Matilda, The Lion King, Billy Elliot, Oliver Twist and a range of other musical shows. I have thoroughly enjoyed providing students with opportunities for them to 'shine' and have provided them with the 'tools' to act out their characters, allowing them to practice their lines in class, acting or dancing out their part until they are confident to perform it in front of an audience. I have attended Shakespeare workshops and CPD training while I was working as a SEN teacher, this gave me a range of different strategies to support ASD students to fully embrace their act. It is amazing to see how a student's character transforms and they have utilized this strength into a positive attribute, they can showcase what they are good at, providing a 'focus' in their education. As they approach the end of their years in school, knowing how to successfully perform, dance and act can lead onto a possible place in a performing Arts College which would be a fantastic achievement!
My experience working with children with comprehension, reasoning and English (reading) challenges: In terms of supporting students with English-comprehension and their inference skills, I have given students the tools to practice comprehensions at their own level by teaching them ways to understand what it is that they are reading first and foremost. Once they understand the reasoning behind reading and they are prepared for an activity after they have read an extract, students feel comfortable and more confident about the questions they are asked to answer. Incorporating science experiments and having a cross curricular link has also been an effective strategy as the learning becomes really meaningful for children and they get excited about the project they are completing. They have opportunities to improve their logical thinking skills too. This type of project will be very visual for the students and the use of their daily planner, timetables and written/visual reminders can support them to be committed to their learning. Sometimes students get overwhelmed by verbal instructions and they will struggle to take in the information. I have found that giving students 1 or 2 instructions, giving them reminders to complete the task and if they tick off what they have achieved at the end of the activity supports them in their learning. Breaking down the task and chunking the information for them allows them to feel more at ease with the activity. Students begin to know the areas that they have made progress in and their areas of development through self assessment.
My skills and experience helping students to develop focus and concentration: Throughout my work experiences, I have supported and helped students to remain focussed throughout each lesson. Keeping the lessons exciting, engaging and giving students different challenges to work on has proven to be successful, students enjoy my range of practical/hands on learning where they are given plenty of opportunities to be engrossed in their work. As I first and foremost work on 'building up a positive relationship with students' to develop a good rapport with them, it is easy to support them with their learning tasks. Students are concentrated on their learning and they are eager to please adults, it is a joy to work with them.
My skills and experience developing motivation and engagement in learning: During my teaching and tutoring experiences, I have had success with supporting students' learning, developing lots of motivation and they are fully engaged in their learning. 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 in Maths and what operation to use. I spend time with with each student and they are comfortable in their own environment, going from strength to strength in their education. I currently tutor Maths to a student in Year 4, carrying out online sessions. The sessions are broken down to support the student to understand the concepts taught. I liaise with his parents about the topics that are been covered at school and we work through the range of activities together in each session. I show him different ways of doing e.g. multiplication and division word problems and use visuals to support his learning. He has made a huge amount of progress and he continues to apply his knowledge of e.g. times tables in his learning, this has supported him to work on his understanding of 'fractions'.
My specific experience working with students with autism and/or ADHD/ ADD: When working with students with autism and/or ADHD/ADD, I enjoy providing 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 which gives 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 senior members of staff. 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 which built on their writing skills. With KS2 and KS3 students, I used their interests e.g. football, Doctor Who and drama also to support them to achieve successfully in their writing skills which gave them confidence in themselves. This supported them to write about what they were interested in while making good progress on a daily basis e.g. one student with ASD had a passion for mechanics. He enjoyed reading and writing about famous motorcycle racers e.g. Guy Martin. This became an exciting project for this student, he was able to showcase his work to his peers, staff and family. The learning became more meaningful to him and he was motivated to complete tasks as he was able to speak with increasing knowledge about the subject while improving on his English levels.
My skills and experience using students' interests and hobbies to develop motivation and engagement in learning: While teaching and tutoring SEN students, it has been highlighted that they learn effectively when I have spent the time to understand what they are motivated by, what they really enjoy doing and finding out what their interests are. During my role as a SEN teacher, I built up positive relationships with each student both individually and as a class unit. We developed their interests and strengths as a learning tool in the classroom setting, e.g. a student with ASD and ADHD enjoyed using the drama 'Doctor Who' as one of his literacy projects. This developed his ability to explain what was happening in each clip of the programme, writing summaries of the events and getting into character, understanding what role the characters played etc. This student was comfortable with the topic and it also linked well into his love of drama and comedy. He learned best when he had the opportunity to act it out, showing to the adults in the room that he was fully involved and engrossed in his learning. This avenue in for him made a huge difference when it came to his morning tasks-reading and writing, he was more positive and was eager to read when he had an interest in the topic, he was able to choose books that were of interest to him, e.g. books around 'football'. Football was his favourite hobby and he was able to utilise this skill to his advantage, giving his peers/class mates good tips and approaching PE lessons with enthusiasm. He was able to create projects around football and his favourite players/team etc, this was an important part of his development and good for improving his team work skills. The implementation of forest school for this student and for the rest of the class was really beneficial for their overall development. It gave them the confidence in the outdoors and they were able to work well together to get tasks completed. They learned key skills e.g. cooking, working with tools to make a fire, making dens and following rules of various games which provided them with a dramatic increase in their confidence and boosted their self esteem. It supported a student who was select mute and this practice brought him out of his shell, giving him the ability to access education in a relaxed environment.
My skills and experience supporting students with global developmental delay: Throughout my teaching career within SEN, I have taught a range of students with global developmental delay. I have supported these students with their targets from their Individual Educational Plans, reviewing these targets and putting new ones in place. When planning and teaching the activities, I have worked closely with each student on reaching their full potential in their academic subjects-English, Maths, Science, History and Geography, using adaptive technology, reading guides and writing supports to support their fine motor skills. Students require activities to be broken down and they focus on developing their skills for each step. They benefit greatly from learning key life skills related to daily living and self care-learning to use the toilet, hygiene, washing and brushing their teeth etc. As the term continues, it is pleasing to see that they have gained more independence, learning about how to look after themselves with the necessary support and guidance. The students enjoy learning about experiences that are relevant to their world-e.g. fixing bikes and cars-they enjoy doing small projects both inside the classroom and outside that they are interested in. This gives them a boost in confidence and can lead onto developing their practical skills in their education.
My experience providing teaching students in Nursery and Early Years: During my teaching career, I have had exciting opportunities to work with Nursery children and the Early Years including Reception. Children at this age are incredibly fun and are bouncing with enthusiasm. I thoroughly enjoyed getting down to their level and interacting with them in role play situations. I took on the post of a Nursery teacher and it was very much a team based environment where the children were given opportunities to learn through play based sessions. We had music and drama teaching sessions whereby children were able to explore the arts and creative side of the curriculum, learning about aspects of nature, the seasons, music and animals. I explored a range of different engaging books with the class e.g. "We're Going on a Bear hunt', 'The Gruffalo, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, What The Ladybird Heard, The Tiger Who Came To Tea', Owl Babies, etc. and we also looked at all of the exciting Nursery rhymes e.g. 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star', 'I'm A Little Teapot', 'Itsy Bitsy Spider, London Bridge Is Falling Down etc. We performed plays/musicals in the classroom showcasing our talents and we showed off our performances to the school in Christmas concerts and end of year shows. The outside environment plays an important part of the child's development and social interaction so children were encouraged to learn new skills e.g. playing alongside their peers, learning to zip up their coat, using other ways to put their coat on -backwards coat flip (lining up their coat in front of them and flipping it on over their heads, young children have lots of fun learning this and they can learn this method with a partner too so they can help each other out if they get stuck..
My experience creating SEN home-tutoring plans and schedules: I can specialise in supporting students with providing them with an engaging structured plan or programme to suit their individual needs. This is essential while dealing with ASD students as they require a structured time tabled approach. I have five years of SEN specialised teaching experience with high functioning ASD students who respond to structure and activities that they are motivated to do. I have seen evidence of how students can learn different skills while they are interested in the topic. My five years of continued tutoring experience has allowed me to build up positive and strong working relationship with families which have involved tutoring high functioning ASD students. It is positive when everyone is involved in their education and are working to support and help them to achieve success at their own individual level.
My skills and experience providing play-based sessions to develop motivation and engagement in learning: I have used strategies to support students by providing them with fun and interactive play based sessions which built up a trusting relationship with them. When things are difficult for them, I have been able to provide a bespoke plan tailored to support them to engage in their learning positively and develop their motivation of the subjects. Humour and the things that they are interested in e.g. cooking, Art, Forest School, football, Doctor Who, drama, steel band, singing, watching acts on Britain's Got Talent have allowed them to have a better handle on the challenges they face. Teaching them to approach different situations in a different or creative way has helped them in their future learning. When students are given more ownership over their learning in a play based interactive approach and when demands are not made directly at them, they feel less pressure. They are more likely to complete tasks on their terms when they are encouraged in a positive way. Discussing scenarios with these types of students and supporting them to make the right choice has helped them along in their learning journey. Throughout my career in both mainstream and Special Needs teaching, I am passionate about including students through music and drama in class assemblies and end of year shows. Whatever level students are working on, they tend to love showing off their creative side and using their love of drama in the classrooms that I have worked in particular UK and Thailand. SEN students especially thrive in the environment where they can showcase their talents to parents, it is so rewarding giving them opportunities to fulfill their potential and enjoy their achievements. I take great pride in supporting all students with their scripts and doing various dance routines with them so they can improve in their performances.
My skills and experience working with further complex needs: I have worked with ASD students who struggle to eat different foods and avoid these foods at lunch times. In these situations, I worked collaboratively with the family, the nurse including the speech and language therapist to set up a sensory diet programme with the student. The student worked on their dietary needs and the use of a food diary helped with their food intake which gave them independence of what they were eating every day for lunch.
How I make reading and writing 'FUN' using music and drama in my sessions: 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 in 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 actively 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 an uplifting 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.
My skills and experience working with SENCOs: I have worked closely with SENCOs and have enjoyed building up positive relationships with them to support the education of SEN students. In terms of the students' Annual Review and Joint review meetings, the SENCO played a huge part in supporting the parents, the communication between myself as the teacher intertwined effectively as all reports were discussed in preparation for the meeting.
My experience providing homework support: The support I have given to students in my teaching positions and tutoring roles have been effective as I feel that students can make use of their time revising over what has been done in class. Students have made good use of this support especially in tutoring roles where I have taught students key skills in English and Maths. They have relied also on the support of my ability to teach concepts in a different way and use their preferred learning style to progress further in their education.
Supporting students transitioning back into school: I have worked with students to support them back into the school environment as I tutor a mix of students online and face to face. The students that I support with using online sessions I have tailored the lessons to suit their learning style and also I am supporting them with any anxieties or worries they may have as they prepare to go back to school. With the right advice and support network, I believe that students will find it easier to make the transition back to school more smoothly. I would fit that into the students sessions as I move forward with their learning and work on their targets where necessary.
My skills and experience working with dyslexia: During my tutoring roles, I worked 1:1 with a student that had dyslexia. I supported him with his English and we used a 'Nessy Learning programme' to enable him to become a more confident writer and approach reading with more ease. During my teaching career, I have taught students with dyslexia and I have used a range of effective strategies to support them in their learning tasks. I have found the use of multi sensory activities to be really effective and these types of activities support the rest of the class too so tasks are differentiated, incorporating different learning styles.
Developing social skills, turn taking and understanding: During my SEN teaching career, I worked closely with students to support their early development of their social skills by providing them with group activities which allowed them to develop their ability to communicate effectively with their peers. This took place both in the classroom and outside in the natural environment. Students with ASD and those with other learning difficulties developed strategies to be able to participate in both group and 1:1 turn taking activities. With the necessary adult support, they were able to play games in the forest, circle activities around the camp fire and begin to develop early friendships with their classmates. In 1:1 tutoring roles, the student has worked with a sibling to support 'turn taking' and develop their social skills within their family. In classroom situations, ASD students have worked hard on developing their reading skills and building on their comprehension of what they have read. In my teaching/tutoring experiences, I have taught the students about how to answer questions based on the text they have read by reading short passages/sentences and asking questions to clarify their understanding. I have also used 'Newsround' as a tool on a daily basis to allow students to find out about the world around them and then stop at different points to ask questions. I differentiate the questions based on what they can answer. e.g. What animal can you see? or Did you hear what country they were reporting on? Students really enjoyed watching Newsround as it became part of their daily routine and they would watch this programme while they were having their snack so it became a social activity as well.
My skills and experience working with students with dyscalculia: Throughout my experiences working with primary aged students and Secondary students, I have interacted with students that have struggled with maths problems involving place value, maths calculations (+, -, x, / ) and fractions. During my teaching roles, I have used Numicon to support students see the connections between numbers as this is an effective way to support them to learn by seeing and feeling. When the Numicon is arranged in order, children can easily see connections e.g. 'one more' or 'one less'. I have provided these students with a range of multisensory activities e.g. using objects to support adding and taking away, giving them multi link cubes to make shapes and notice patterns, (e.g. jumping in 2's) drawing out maths problems involving multiplication (4 x 6) using music to tap out numbers and linking this with times tables to support multiplication and division problems. I have been able to support students with e.g. angles, anti clockwise, clockwise, when they physically get up and follow directions, they begin to understand these concepts better.
My experience working with students with sensory processing disorder: As part of the roles in my SEN teaching and tutoring positions, I have enjoyed integrating social stories into my sessions. This has been a key element in their daily routines for the students to understand different aspects of school life e.g. introducing new people into their timetable, rules around hygiene or making friendships etc They take on board what is been explained to them in a visual, step by step format. These social stories can be shared with the student at any time of the day and can be left at their bay station for them to refer back to when needed. As a class, it has been effective to create sensory stories for the children and they can be involved in the process. I have supported the students to create class books e.g. The Gruffalo, Amazing Wild Animals or a book on their own class (Banyan class/Bamboo class). They each created two or three pages for the book and were able to use different materials to decorate their pages, seeking out support from adults when required. These sensory stories supported their ability to communicate and build their confidence, giving children opportunities to fine tune their responses to stimuli. 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. Students who found paper based activities e.g. reading and writing challenging, they were able to concentrate on their activities better after they had physical exercise.
Assessments and feedback to parents and families: At the end of each session, I 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.
My experience working with students with dyspraxia and/ or organisational challenges: I also have experience working with students that have dyspraxia to support them with their organisational and study skills. They have been able to use different ways to write e.g. word processors. They also have opportunities to use the pen that works best for them and look at the texture of the paper used. A non slip mat can also benefit their writing and improve their skills. When students are struggling to organise their work, prepared diagrams for them to label and using different templates are effective strategies. This gives them a foundation to work on and builds up their confidence in organising their mind and work which allows them to move forward in their learning.
IT and computing integration: I really enjoy embedding computing and IT (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.
11 plus entrance examination experience: I have substantial experience working with students who are preparing for the 11+ exams. 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.