Know the Art of Shadow Teaching in Special Educational Needs

15th May 2020

In order to providing full support to the children with special needs, the conception of shadow teaching has been implemented quite in recent times. There are a lot of people who may not know about the concept of a shadow teacher or who may hear the term for the first time. In schools, the children with special needs are being taught to build up their academic skills, social skills, and self-determination.

In 21st century teaching-learning process, besides just training academics, teachers facilitate children to comprehend the rules of playing by interacting socially with the help of sharing and caring. Nevertheless, talking about the special children, not all children become skilled at the same time as their peers, they may require additional support in some areas. That’s when the role of a shadow teacher comes in, the one on one support starts from here.

Who is a Shadow Teacher?

Ideally a shadow teacher is an important person who helps the special child by carrying out his/her required program which is in place. They are the 'exclusive' teachers, who are keeping the child on an appropriate track by managing any behavioural program, etc. They are provided by schools most of the time, they help in the educational activities of the special child by implementing the course curriculum. The shadow teacher also gives important feedback. They help in preventing the child from facing unwanted problems and decrease hyperactivity to assist in educational activities. Shadow teachers are regularly referred to as para-professionals, student aides, teacher aides and even student tutors sometimes.

The special child gets helps from the shadow teacher for the reason that ….

  • The shadow teacher helps in building his/her strengths
  • The child follows usual classroom instruction and interaction
  • The child receives educational enrichment
  • The child gets an additional needed support

The Role of the Shadow Teacher in the Classroom

  • As an educational assistant, the shadow teacher works directly with a particular child with special needs during his/her early school years
  • The shadow teacher has a clear idea about the special educational needs that help in identifying a special child as early as possible
  • The shadow teacher allows the child to attend a conventional class while receiving the extra consideration that he/she needs
  • The shadow teacher is a progressive form of support that acts as a resource for the development of a special needs child
  • The shadow teacher facilitates by providing the connection which a special needs learner needs in the classes
  • The shadow teacher instils accountability, fosters self-government, and encourages learning
  • The shadow teacher supports the student at school by aiding in filling the gaps in the learning development
  • The shadow teacher aids in building the self-confidence of the special child
  • The shadow teacher promotes the positive communication in the classroom by helping the student focus on significant concepts
  • The shadow teacher works in functioning in an environment where there are numerous distractions
  • The shadow teacher helping a special child to respond appropriately to his/her classmates in social situations

Accompanying a special needs student by all the way through the school day to give the complete support and permanence is just one of the numerous things that a shadow teacher does. A shadow teacher's provisions are very advantageous and can add to the child's excellence of learning along with the overall classroom experience. Well, in order to become a professional shadow teacher, some sort of definite courses are required quite like online shadow teacher training. These programs generally give detailed information about several types of special educational needs and how to deal with them. For the most part, the shadow teachers help students with special needs to understand their abilities, distinctiveness, and potential, while assisting the classroom teacher to do the same.


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