Special education teachers are BUSY!! That's why we need to set up our classroom to work for us. We use visuals all the time for students, but they also work really well for staff. Here are 3 ways I use visuals for staff in my classroom.
Varied Directives and Questions
It's important that our students learn to be flexible and that there are multiple ways to say something. They need to be directly taught to respond to the varied directives and questions. To do this, I train my staff why it is important and we practice asking varied questions. I have AMAZING teaching assistants, but we all get busy or develop habits. To help them remember and come up with a different way to phrase something on the fly, I've posted these posters around the room.
In the past, I needed the posters in a variety of areas in the classroom so I posted them high and very large on chart paper.
Make Interactions Positive
If you've ever had a staff member who had trouble being positive, then you know how quickly negativity spreads. To help remind all of my assistants, therapists and me to be positive, I post this gentle reminder.
It is so important that we create a positive and supportive classroom environment so that students feel comfortable taking risks and trying new things.
Student Check Out SystemIt's CRAZY how much we have to remember as special education teachers. Our students have numerous therapies and pull out services. It can be hard to remember who went where and why. This visual check out system helps me keep it all straight.
Each student has a clothespin with his or her name on it. Before an individual student leaves the classroom, he clips his clothespin onto the place he is going. When the student returns, he removes his clothespin. When students are in the classroom, his or her clothespin is kept at the bottom on the ribbon. If you color code your students, you could coordinate their clothespin to make the checkout system even better.
Don't forget to check out my post on using visuals to reduce prompt dependency for students and how to set up your classroom to run without you for more information on how to easy your stress and help students be more independent.
Do you use visuals in your classroom to help staff? Leave a comment with what you use.