Canada Association of Tourism Employees

How To Present Distinctive Training For Distinctive Learners

Exceptional education for all learners

If we are to make a difference in education, we need to have real conversations. I’m starting; I hope schools never go back to normal. This year families and carers had to put on the teacher cap and add it to their repertoire of other roles and responsibilities. As this change has shed light on labor standards and child and family care policies, a curtain has also been raised on the specific needs of different learners.

Executives attending the Relay Graduate School of Education’s Inclusive Schools Leadership Institute hear us repeat the power of language over and over again. Our goal is to shake off the connotations that are carried as luggage with terms such as “special education” and “special needs”. Instead, we say “exceptional learners”. We want to turn the narrative around; We turn a deficit mindset into an asset. We try to get ourselves and the educators we support to identify the existing status quo and work to break it.

Exceptional learners deserve an exceptional education. The typical personal support has been abolished this year and student learning has undeniably suffered. We cannot change this past reality, but we can use this year’s lessons and eye openers to ensure that all future students have what they need to be successful. Students with disabilities are entitled to training that ensures they make significant progress within the general education curriculum. This is how we, as educators, implement this. This is how we disrupt the status quo.

Keep an eye on the dates for exceptional learning

Data don’t lie. Current data show that schools are failing to meet expectations for these students. We need not just to demand, but to demand that schools put in place systems to track and analyze data for exceptional learners. Don’t wait for students to fail; Track data and analyze student performance daily and weekly (during and after class).

Create a constant feedback cycle for all teachers

Managers need to make sure they are keeping an eye on the effectiveness of teaching exceptional learners. Managers need to identify the person best suited to provide this feedback and adapt existing systems / structures. By providing pre-class feedback and strategic lesson planning protocols, educators can work to identify potential barriers to student engagement, understanding, and the ability to demonstrate learning. Managers have a responsibility not only to have their finger on the pulse of general education, but also of how outstanding learners perform in general education classrooms. This needs to be addressed on a daily basis. Feedback should be more than an occasional mandate. When something doesn’t work, kids can’t wait that long.

Multi-level support systems

80% of general education teachers say they don’t know how to support all students. Managers need to create a strategic development plan to support diverse learners that prioritizes what, when, and how to teach. If something doesn’t work (scoring based on data and feedback), fix it. Weekly meetings to make sure all children are supported seems like a realistic goal. This should be the minimum. A tiered system, like Florida’s Response to Intervention [1], can be a solid starting point.

Complementary intervention

To create a fair and balanced playing field for exceptional learners, as justice demands of us, we must ensure that students with special needs receive additional interventions in addition to excellent general education. Accelerating learning by improving general education is even more important because of the pandemic. We cannot use interventions as an alternative to high-quality general education, but general education grants alone will not be enough to respond to learning interruptions caused by pandemics [2].

To respond appropriately to these interruptions, exceptional learners benefit from daily small-group or one-on-one interventions. Educators should prioritize explicit instruction as a mediation method for targeted interventions [3]. Schools should consider strategies such as high-level tutoring, extended study day interventions, and double math classes, all led by highly effective teachers [4]. The effectiveness of the interventions must be monitored through regular progress reviews.

It’s no secret that there is still much work to be done to improve education for all children. But you don’t get any better until you see where you started. We need to start by identifying existing barriers, lack of progress and growing achievement gaps (i.e. the status quo) and work deliberately to break that status quo to ensure that children who need the most support have a chance at success . Education is a fundamental right and by ignoring exceptional learning we deny that right. At the end of the day, it’s about kids. Let’s work on the disruption to fight for its future.


[1] about the project

[2] Academic support for students with disabilities

[3] Intensive interventions for students with reading and math problems

[4] School practices to combat student learning loss

Post a Comment

You don't have permission to register