What is a Teaching Assistant? A teaching assistant is responsible for supporting pupils with special educational needs in the classroom. The main duties include working alongside classroom teachers to plan and implement lessons, providing one-on-one support to pupils, and helping to create a positive learning environment. This may be in a mainstream school, a special… Continue reading How to answer an interview question “What are the most important qualities of a teaching assistant?”
Developing pupil motivation using 10 evidence based strategies. Teaching Assistants (TAs) play a vital role in supporting pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in the classroom. One of the most important aspects of their work is to help these pupils develop a strong motivation to learn. This is crucial because pupils with SEN may face… Continue reading How can teachers and teaching assistants motivate pupils to learn?
Here are 10 interview questions that you may be asked when interviewing to become a teaching assistant (TA)/learning support assistant (LSA). I have also added a potential answer to a couple of the questions. Generic answers are good for ticking boxes but to really impress the interviewer you need examples from your previous experience. If… Continue reading Interview Questions and Answers for Teaching Assistants.
Who doesn't love sensory play to keep their children occupied, off screens and having fun? We have been trying out a range of sensory play activities this year as with 5 children in the house days out can quickly get expensive. This year we have had a few behavioural challenges that we felt were driven… Continue reading Sensory Play With Gelli Bath
Teaching Students with Speech Disabilities Many young children face speech and language learning challenges and often enter school without proper language skills. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Education, 7.2 million students with disabilities in the 2020-21 school year were served under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). That is… Continue reading Teaching Students with Speech Disabilities: Guest Post
Hello, my name is Bethany Tomerlin Prince. First things first, I use American English, so my apologies if this post has significantly fewer u’s than you are expecting. I was born with mild Cerebral Palsy and Motor Sensory Integration Disorder. My childhood was a series of doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. I wore… Continue reading What my Disability Gave to Me
A Spooky Sensory Experience. Are You A Monster? Halloween Sensory Story is similar to Are You An Elf? and Am I a Pirate? These are "Dressing Up" Sensory Stories. The idea is that each element of the story will be revealed from a bag or box and worn by the learner, this means these sensory… Continue reading Halloween Sensory Story: Are You A Monster?
Free Christmas Sensory Story for PMLD/SLD pupils Slightly different from a more traditional sensory story Are You an Elf Christmas Sensory Story is one of our free "Dressing up" Sensory Stories. Throughout the story the learner will become an Elf. As with any activity the storyteller needs to be attuned to the learner's individual sensory… Continue reading A Christmas Sensory Story: Are you an Elf?
This post is based on "Leading a Team" training I delivered to colleagues in Kent special schools. It is aimed at ECTs, Teachers, and HLTAs. Anyone stepping up to lead a class in a special school becomes a leader of a team. This is usually of a team of Teaching or Learning Support Assistants (TA/LSA).… Continue reading Leading A Team For SEN Teachers/ECTs
Curious, Courageous, and Coaching Conversations in School. Leading conversations is not about power or forcing people to do as they are told. It is about gaining buy-in and building trust. When holding conversations around practice, or conflict there will be specific elements of people management but that is not leadership. As a leader you encourage… Continue reading Effective Courageous and Curious Conversations for Leaders in School.
When Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook's rebranding into Meta in October 2021 the word Metaverse spread throughout the world. To see the potential benefits and pitfalls of this for education we need to look beyond the publicity and hype. The vast majority of people are detached from the tech-rabbit hole of blockchain, crypto and AI. What… Continue reading Education and the Metaverse
What is the Metaverse? The word Metaverse is being used a lot at the moment. It is a technology in its infancy, like many technologies it could be a gimmick. However as the technology develops I think we'll be hearing more and more about the metaverse. What it is, and how people use it will… Continue reading Sensory Stories in the Metaverse
This is a record of the #SENexchange discussion from 2nd February 2022. We based the chat on the article: The tip of the iceberg: SEND, masking and multiple needs written by regular discussion contributor Sara Alston. I have edited some responses for clarity. A Discussion on Masking and Learning Needs at School and Home. How… Continue reading Masking, Behaviour, and Learning Needs.
We bought a Yoto Player* for our daughter for Christmas as we wanted to reduce screen time and encourage her love of reading. My older daughter used to listen to story CD's and this is an even better version of that as some stories are a few hours long. The range of stories available is… Continue reading The Yoto Player: Product Review
This is a record of the January 2022 #SENexchange discussion of themes from this brand new free document. A beginners guide to Ableism tapestry.info/a-beginners-gu… This topic is so important. Emily Lees, an autistic speech and Language Therapist wrote the guide. This should be read by everyone who works in the field of SEN. Our write-ups… Continue reading Discussing A Beginners Guide To Ableism
How doesn't love a chance to dress up! This pirate themed sensory story is a little different to our others. I have tried to make it accessible to learners who need minimal language and repetition. I have tried to write for the earlier stages of our sensory story progression stages. Pirate Themed Sensory Story This… Continue reading Am I a Pirate? Sensory Story
Individual interaction styles can have a huge impact on learning. When working with young people with SEN there are many different strategies and approaches to engage them in learning. What is often overlooked is the adult's interaction style. This can influence not only engagement but behaviour, wellbeing and, well all outcomes really. I would like… Continue reading Develop Authentic Interaction Styles To Improve Learning
Lessons From The Coronavirus Pandemic and Other Challenging Times. Research conducted during the pandemic suggests that schools facing challenging circumstances need leaders who demonstrate a broad range of leadership approaches. This study "Leadership for Challenging Times" by Gurr and Drysdale (2020) gives some insight. Skills in these areas are most effective when underpinned by a… Continue reading Powerful Leadership Lessons From Challenging Times
Shopping for good-quality educational toys can be difficult. There are so many to choose from and the quality varies hugely. We have 5 children between us so have got a pretty good idea of what they have enjoyed at different ages. Working in A special school I am also always on the lookout for toys… Continue reading Magnetic Bird Educational Toy Review
A Reformed Functionalist. Acting in a certain way to get out of something is commonplace for many children and young people. And adults come to that. If you have attended a PBS (positive behaviour support) course or any behaviour training you may have heard the term functions of behaviour. Attempts to get away from, out… Continue reading Functions of Behaviour: Fear and Escape