Teach English in FushoushAn Zhen - Yueyang Shi

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Everyone has a personal genius. It’s not up to us to try and change people, but rather to help individuals to be the best they can be with the skills, strengths, and abilities they already possess. The way we go about teaching individuals with learning disabilities will require us to be creative, looking beyond conventional teaching methods. Humility will also be important, for we may be the problem rather than the learning disability itself. Will we be humble enough to accept this truth and then use it to improve our skills as a teacher? As teachers the ability to look outside the box and to be able to assess ourselves honestly will be essential if we hope to help students learn in a way that will work best for them. As previously mentioned, following conventional lesson plans or materials outlined in a course book as if they were a script that needed to be scrupulously followed will not work. Teachers of students with learning disabilities will need to bring lesson plans and study materials to life. Whether this is through role-playing, oral instructions, illustrations, videos, modeling, etc. it will be important to present the information in a way that meets the needs of the student and in a way that is easy to understand. Teaching styles and methods will need to be adapted to the needs of the student not the other way around. How though are teachers to know the best way to provide instructions to students with a learning disability? The answer, there is no cookie cutter method that can be applied. Each student is unique and each will have different challenges. Teachers will need to be able to fulfill a variety of roles, learning to be adaptable. Mastering this trait is going to be crucial if one wants to succeed as an effective teacher. Through trial and error teachers will be able to discover what works and what doesn’t for each student. Through trial and error teachers will be able to start building a teaching toolbox of methods and styles that they will be able to adapt depending on the situation and needs of the student. This versatility will not only make for better teachers, but will first and foremost help encourage the students being supported. In summary, a learning disability is not a roadblock that can’t be overcome. With the right supports in place teachers can encourage and support students with learning disabilities to be successful. When teachers apply a holistic view to their teaching with the focus on strengths rather than weaknesses they build their students up. This in turn coupled with creative teaching strategies creates a wholesome learning environment conducive to learning and success. Rather than be that voice that limits a student’s success, be the voice that pushes boundaries. Look beyond conventional teaching methods. There are a number of excellent resources on systematic instruction available. Make use of them and create a lesson plan that is engaging, adaptable, and inclusive for all.