Well, we missed out on Europe again..long story…so I thought that it best I get on with what I love doing aside from travelling, i.e. teaching and learning.
I’ve been reading up on special education and in light of the up-coming professional learning day I will be running for Critical Agendas in November (details to follow), I would just like to make some comments especially in regard to non-funded students in your classrooms. In some cases there will be an aide in your class, their main duty will be to look after the needs of the funded student and fair enough too, but in most schools we assume that the aide will also make time to assist other students who supposedly have a learning issue that is not “bad” enough to warrant any funds.
In reality though it makes it very difficult for all parties, teachers, students and aides to be able to fulfil such a task of ensuring this does happen, especially given time restrictions, lack of professional learning and the reality that many teachers are not fully aware of the learning needs of each of their students.
To adequately meet their needs, there must be a willingness and availability to work as a team in developing quality teaching and support for teachers and teacher aides. It is important to allocate time for them to attend relevant professional learning sessions and to discuss and make appropriate and realistic modifications to existing curriculum no matter the cost.
Over the next few months I will be carrying out some research on the nature of the relationship between teachers and teacher aides. Very little research has been carried out on relationships between the teacher aide and the teacher in the context of their interactions and collaboration involving the on-going physical and mental care as well as the academic and social learning of the students for whom they are responsible. The aim of my study is to explore the nature of this relationship. I hope to be able to develop and present my findings in order to build a theory and then use that to offer relevant and meaningful strategies so that all students will ultimately benefit from an even better quality of teaching and learning.