School News NZ - Term 1, 2021

Page 14

Images courtesy of Learning Matters

Teacher, teacher,

please help me succeed By Carla McNeil, Managing Director, Learning Matters

been either knowledge that has led to a deep understanding of why the students are presenting as they are, or a strong sense of moral purpose and a desire to be a better teacher, which has led them to continued learning in this area. Knowledge breeds confidence.

All of us can remember our school days and name a teacher who was a positive influence on our schooling and developmental success.

Factors that lead to successful schooling experiences for our students with SLDs include:

When I reflect on my own schooling experiences, many names come to mind. I am sure I speak for many in education when I stress the importance of building strong foundations in wellbeing and consciously forging positive relationships between teachers and students. Sadly, for our students with specific learning differences (SLDs), these connections are not always as secure as they should be. The conscious development of


meaningful relationships that support positive schooling and life experiences begins with the teacher and then is shared with the students as they get older. The most critical element in this is the teacher’s ability to empathise with each student. In my experience, it is difficult to do this well when

specific teacher knowledge regarding SLDs – how to identify them, when to refer students for assessment and what a specific SLD means for a student’s educational pathway and ability to access the curriculum

teachers having access to evidence-based resources to teach their students with SLDs

we are not aware of what sits behind a student’s struggles. Over the past five years, I have observed teachers across New Zealand with an incredible ability to build relationships with students and their whānau. The element that most of these teachers have had in common has


Term 1, 2021 |