Tip #3 Focus on Student Needs (Tips for Learning Support Teachers)

The Learning Support Teacher is the expert on Student Needs.  The success of your students is your top priority.  Focus on making adjustments and providing support that will help your students experience success.  Every other aspect of your job is secondary to this.  Every other aspect of your job will fall into place if you maintain student needs as your top priority.

During conversations with the classroom teacher/s ensure that you:

  • Provide any information you have about each student and ask what the teacher has observed about the student (they might have noticed something you can’t learn from a file).
  • Suggest ways that you can support the student or ways that teaching could be adjusted.  If possible, model adjustments by showing the teacher modified worksheets from previous years or make changes to worksheets you have found in curriculum files.
  • Ask the teacher how they think you can best support them e.g. take notes, modify worksheets, read/ scribe during tests.
  • Offer to help create and modify resources – when a teacher hands out a worksheet, take one for yourself and make notes about how to modify it.  Don’t simply hand these things back to the teacher, but offer to look at worksheets for the next lesson and make some slight changes to make it easier for your target students to access.

Approach these things with a focus on student success and student needs.  This will help the classroom teacher to see that your suggestions are not about them as teachers but about their students.

A few words of wisdom to help you remember why you do what you do…

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