Inclusive Education values diversity and uniqueness of each child in a school. It celebrates the spirit of variety and provides opportunities to learn about individual differences. However a special needs child can face many problems which can be ranging from learning related deficits to behavioral disturbances. In today’s setup it may not be possible for a regular teacher to supplement a child with special needs with the required Strategies and Interventions in an Inclusive School. This is where is shadow teacher comes to play.
Shadow Teacher assists a child and provides the much needed support which can range from physical support
1. Walking supporting in School
2. Specific learning support in controlling and impulsive behavior of an ADHD child
3. In completing a specific assigned task of a child
4. In giving a reminder (Timer) about the allocated time for the activity
5. Recreational activities of special needs children needs monitoring and a Shadow Teacher is a best person to provide that support in an Inclusive School as she can keep an eye on the child during the physical education training that happens in the school.
A shadow teacher is somebody who assists child in their learning process mostly in an educational setup. We find schools and parents opting for this facility mostly during the early education stages. Typically, a Shadow Teacher is paid for her sessions per day or on a monthly basis with a fixed salary. The common practice is to hire a certified Special Educator who would provide learning support in an educational setup and help the child successfully negotiate through his environment.
It is also very important that as a Society we are focusing on Inclusion, Learning of the peer group students should not be disturbed by the disability of another child left unattended in the class room. Hence the presence of a Shadow Teacher in an inclusive classroom is of immense importance .
Let’s not forget that a Shadow Teacher is usually the result of a primary level screening of a Regular Teacher or a Counselor in an Inclusive setup.
The disability movement today is more inclined towards the social model. Shadow Teachers today are in huge demand as more and more schools are getting inclusive in nature. Finding a skilled shadow teacher can be a huge task in itself. Major question of affordability is raised among special needs parents, who are already taking the burn of extra expenses in form of Therapies.
Success of a good Shadow Teacher is in making his or her special needs child as Independent as possible. She has to make relentless efforts to curb the dependencies of her special needs child and need to train him in all activities that can help him be independent.
Another main challenge at Shadow teachers should not be allowed to overpower the child making him overtly dependent for activities that you can be trained in
A daily log report is of immense importance both to Shadow Teacher and a Parent who is at home. The daily log report provides a detailed account of how the child performed in the School and what was the activities that he did through the day. This log helps the Parent and the Teacher get a detailed account of the Activities, Goals, Targets that has been set for the child. This log also helps the parent in replicating best practices that are done at school. It is also possible to practice strategies and interventions for the child through the daily log and try the same at home which will enhance the child’s learning. It is also required that Parents be demanding enough to know about how the child is performed throughout the day and whether there were any aberrations in his Learning.