As a trained teacher, you may or may not have had good initial teacher training in SEN.
A postgraduate student of mine admitted that even a few years ago, the SEN component of his initial PGCE teacher training, consisted of one morning of SEN, in which each group was given one SEN (he was given cystic fibrosis) which they had to go and research. There wasn’t even any feedback, so he never got to discover anything else!
When one is in the dark, these are the most likely feelings you will experience (often the same as parents but from a different angle!)
- Guilt – that you have done something wrong as a teacher and don’t know what to do to help/differentiate.
- Blame – perhaps it is the previous teacher’s fault. If not them, then it must be the parents?!
- Fear – that the child in your class is not going to make the progress you want or worse, not pass the SAT tests and bring down the whole class marks, which might reflect badly on you.
- Worry – that you don’t know enough about SEN and SpLDs, like dyslexia, to cope with the child’s needs. You are worried to ask, as you don’t want to show yourself up and especially uneasy when the anxious parents come in to ask what you are doing about their child and you don’t want to sound as if you don’t have a clue. It’s even worse when you try to pretend that you know what you are doing, when you don’t!
- Envy – of other teachers who do not have the same problems in their class, or if they do, seem to be able to manage it with ease.
- Confusion – over the report, if there is one, and what it all means.
- Flight – you move to a different school!
There is a solution to all these problems; become knowledgeable and act on that knowledge. (see CPD)