The last eighteen months have been incredibly difficult for students, teachers, school personnel, and parents. The COVID-19 pandemic is still something that we are grappling with to this very day, and it appears that we could be for quite some time. With the new school year beginning for many around the country, I have heard from special education teachers that trying to get their students used to being in a classroom full-time again has been challenging. That is why maintaining a routine for students as they transition back to school is incredibly important.
As a former special education teacher, I know that consistency is the key when working with students that have varying needs. They require additional support and services and having those built into a routine provides structure and reassurance for students with varying needs. By following a routine in the classroom with your students, they become aware of what they need to do and when they need to do it. Creating a supportive yet structured learning environment for students with varying needs helps set their expectations and allows them to anticipate when various activities will take place. Adhering to a routine can also help you to manage the behaviors of students with varying needs. By fostering an atmosphere where students are provided with predictability and structure, any disruptive behaviors they might have are likely to be less. We believe that repetition, consistent messaging, and offering a proactive approach are key to their success.
While school districts spend significant resources on helping students with varying needs, sometimes teaching them about critical life and social skills is not a priority. That is why I am so passionate about our Healthy Relationships Curriculum. It is a program specifically designed for special education teachers, schools, and other organizations that work with students who may be on the autism spectrum, have a developmental and intellectual disability, or have an emotional challenge. Our program encourages students to pursue and maintain healthy relationships and to know what appropriate boundaries are and how to establish them. With over 140 videos, lesson plans, and online tools, you will be equipped with an abundance of resources at your fingertips to teach your students. Our lesson plans and videos focus on topics like consent, consequences to breaking social expectations and norms, dating, relationships, personal hygiene, how to navigate bullying, and what is appropriate behavior on social media.
Additionally, our program can be taught in a variety of learning modalities including in-person, remote, or hybrid settings, and I know this is incredibly important right now given schools are still faced with pandemic-related issues. To learn more and to schedule a free, virtual presentation with us just complete this online form and a member of our team will be in touch with you. I hope that you and your students have a successful school year!
All my best,
Jen Falkowski, M.Ed