Special Education Needs Training
Written by EDYOU FM Staff on March 17, 2023
Theme: Future Directions in Inclusive Education
Today, the Special Education Needs (SEN) Unit in collaboration with Childlink Inc., through the “One Life Too” Project, hosted a training workshop at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) for teachers of children with Autism in Special Schools and Mainstream schools.
National SEN Officer Ms. Savvie Hopkinson in her opening remarks reminded teachers of the need to grapple with and refresh their knowledge of the learning process, for the process of learning is not always the same for everyone and that learning can happen in a variety of ways.
Explaining that learning doesn’t always come easily, she stated that often obstacles must be overcome in order for new knowledge to be gained. She reminded participants to be cognizant of environmental challenges such as access to learning opportunities and other aspects of the learning environment. Additionally, we are aware that students with Special Education Needs and Disabilities learn differently.
Further, she encouraged participants to embrace the maxim “all children can learn” because this professional conviction is vital and must permeate the minds of teachers and be present in classrooms. It is the single factor that compels the teacher to reflect on presentation, methodology, differentiation and to treat respectably those who learn differently. Moreover, it is the conviction that has compelled us to expel pejorative descriptors and destructive labeling from our minds and never to speak or apply them to our students.
Director of ChildLink Ms. Omattie Madray, and “One Life Too” Project Coordinator Ms. Samantha Hutson represented the organization which has been a pillar in the training programs throughout the life of the project.
Ms. Hutson in her brief remarks stated that as someone working with parents and children with a disability through the One Life Too Project, she has learned to be more accepting and to practice consideration when engaging with people. Often time you would hear that a child is at this age or grade at school and does not know to read or write their own name and immediately the blame falls on the teacher without any consideration that the child may have a learning disability or have other things going on at home that are preventing the child from making progress.
She further said that it is the hope of Childlink that through these continuous training collaborations, teachers would have the tools needed to further help children while also giving guidance to parents.
The workshop sessions were facilitated by SEN Officers Ms. Gale Layne Blue who delivered on “Inclusive Classrooms and the Teacher” and “Student Collaborations,” and Ms. Yolanda Trotman Phillips who engaged participants on “Embracing Diversity.”
Twenty-one participants benefitted from the training exercise. Participants included in the training were from New Amsterdam Special School, David Rose Special School, Diamond Special Needs School, Beterverwagting SEND Centre, Schoonard Learning Centre for Diverse Needs, Linden Resource Centre for Special Needs, Amelia’s Ward Primary, Vreed-En-Hoop Primary and Gifted Hands Learning Centre.