As I return from my latest two day workshop, I am continually impressed with the need to address instructional language. When I completed my teaching degrees, I received no instruction in identifying and dealing with learning differences. It was assumed that if a child were not in special education he or she would be able to learn in my class. That was many years ago. Within the first three years of my teaching, all teachers were required to take a special education class or some in house training in special needs. That is when I first received training in multisensory methods as part of a public school O-G based program.
Now teachers are expected to teach
inclusion classes and sometimes work with another teacher to support
special needs students in blended classrooms. There is lots of talk
about differentiation. What I find in the field is that teachers are
not always given sufficient professional development to feel confident
in addressing the myriad learning differences that can occur in the same
One of the simplest vehicles for addressing
the needs of all students is clear, precise, concept oriented language
with a rate of speech that does not race of some student's heads. A
well articulated lesson delivered at a moderate rate of speech is more
apt to reach a greater number of students.
are times when a faster rate of speech, emotion and excitement should
infuse the classroom with urgency. These are moment which inspire
students and engage them in questioning and analysis. However, when a
new concept is being introduced or sequential directions are given, the
rate of speech should allow for processing speed deficits and be
delivered in such a way to meet the needs of all students.