Wouldn’t it be nice if every child in a special education classroom could get direct instruction from the classroom teacher all day long? Yes, it would be amazing! Not because we don’t value our classroom assistants, but because the classroom teacher has gone through college level instruction, student teaching under the guidance of a certified teacher, in addition to teaching experiences and continuing professional development opportunities.
Teachers in special education classrooms must rely upon instructional assistants to help manage the classroom and share in instructional duties. These assistants can be golden if they have either years of experience in special education or a college background. Many times teachers have assistants who have a positive attitude about working with children with special needs, but just do not have the appropriate background or training to be as effective as the classroom teacher.
How can we help to make this staff we absolutely need on our team better prepared to work with our students?
Take a look at the video to see this valuable tool that you can use to help ensure your students are getting the best instruction possible!
Once you train your staff, don’t forget to do periodic fidelity checks. Teachers understand the importance of consistency when presenting instruction with fidelity as one of the keys to student progress. Instructional assistants may not fully understand that every quality instructional minute counts and become a bit lax in implementing curriculum, procedures, or teaching strategies as designed. When you do these fidelity checks, you are communicating the importance of the goals you have for your students.
The quality of instruction starts at the top, so if you the teacher are coaching your staff to present the best quality of instruction in the most consistent way, then your students are going to show progress at the highest level possible.
Trust me, if you follow this strategy, you’re gonna make your assistants happy. In my experience they want to make a difference in children’s lives. I have found that instructional assistants want the training and direction because they want to do right by the kids in their classroom.
Try this strategy and let me know how they work for you!!!!
You take care and I’ll see you next time!