With most nursery schools and primary schools embracing inclusive education, a larger need has been created for effective shadow teachers. Who is a shadow teacher? What is their role? Let me paint a picture... It is a beautiful Monday morning. Amali is at work bright and early. Amali is a shadow teacher. She works in a mainstream nursery with Saman. Saman has a diagnosis of Autism spectrum disorder and his parents have employed Amali to manage his language delay, social communication delay and behaviour issues in the classroom. Amali is a keen observer and knows Saman’s abilities, uniqueness and potential. They make a great pair. She begins her work by discussing Saman’s day with his class teacher. Following the discussion, she writes down an individualized, flexible session plan, gathers the resources needed and eagerly waits to welcome Saman. During the school hours, Amali supports Saman’s listening and attention so he is able to follow the classroom instructions.
She aids Saman to express himself and answer questions to promote active participation in class. She follows a customized plan for reading, writing and phonics to provide equal opportunities for Saman to participate in class activities and to build on his strengths. Play time is always busy. Amali encourages Saman to play with others and build relationships and friendships. She works on the play skills and promotes positive interaction with friends. Praise, high fives, reinforcements are used to build self confidence and form a positive approach to new and challenging tasks. She works closely with other professionals involved with Saman, follows their advice, conducts their activities and reports back to the teacher and the family regarding improvements and changes.
When needed she supports Saman with daily tasks such as eating, drinking, to develop self management skills. When the time is right, she remains discreetly in the background to promote independence. By the end of her work day, she is tired but leaves the nursery with a smile knowing that tomorrow will be equally challenging and equally satisfying. As highlighted above, an effective shadow teacher plays a vital role in the educational journey of a child with special educational needs. For the first time in Sri Lanka, Ladies’ College Institute of Professional Studies will be conducting a Certificate Course in Shadow Teacher Training (focusing mainly on early years). This course will be a valuable experience for parents, teachers and other individuals who work ( or wish to work) with children with special needs and will equip them with the knowledge, tools and strategies on best supporting a child with special educational requirements in a mainstream educational setting.
This programme will be conducted by the specialist paediatric speech and language therapist Ruwanthie Cooray, and will consist of 3 hour weekly sessions for a period of 25 weeks. All are welcome to attend the free introductory seminar which will be held on 29th November 2018 from 2.30-5.30pm. The programme is scheduled to commence in January 2019.
To join this course or for inquiries please call 011 257419 or visit www.lcips.lk.