Teachers have always played a vital role in the development of children’s cognition. A teacher’s job is not just to explain the course and the topic to a room full of young minds. They should work to inspire and encourage the students to achieve success in and out of the classroom. For a teacher, a student should not just be someone whose parents are paying them to acquire knowledge. For a teacher, a student should be someone who will become a leader. They should always strive to understand each individual students’ needs and help them feel accepted enough to be able to grasp what is being taught.
This is especially true when it comes to children with special needs. People often treat them very sensitively, and a lot of times insensitively, assuming that they might not be able to hold significant positions in the real world. However, that is far from the truth. With the right guidance, encouragement, and resources, these children can function and contribute as much as those without special needs.
A classic example of such a person is Chidi Topaz Olujie. Losing his hearing after the doctors mistreated him for mumps, Olujie resorted to making his life exemplary. He did not let his condition become a hurdle of any sort in his career, and instead found a way around it and used it to make a difference in the world. Olujie got copious education, going as far as attaining a Ph.D. from California, and then started a job as a special educator in Gallaudet University, all this while running as a candidate for the Peoples Democracy Party.
So what kinds of teachers produce students like Olujie? Teachers who succeed with students like Chidi Topaz Olujie are the ones who have qualities like:
Of course, when dealing with a child who has special needs, one needs a lot of patience. It does not matter how long it takes; the individual teaching a special education class will have to allow the student ample time to complete the task. A good sense of humor will also go a long way. Though of course, education is a serious thing, creating a cheerful environment will help the teacher get closer to the student and allow them to be able to relate to them.
All of the children have a varied learning style. This is why the special education teacher should be able to adapt lessons that would work with the strengths of each child rather than make them feel discouraged. Some students might take extra work when it comes to performing basic speaking or motor skills which the teacher will need to be considerate of.
Some children might find it challenging to be able to express their feelings. This will possibly lead the student to feel withdrawn from a class or act negatively. The teacher will have to use their intuitive skills to be able to uncover underlying reasons behind the poor behavior.