Role of the Special Education Teacher in Post-Primary Schools

Special education teachers should be familiar with a wide range of teaching approaches, methodologies and resources to cater for particular learning preferences and to meet a variety of needs. Teaching approaches could include a combination of team-teaching initiatives, co-operative teaching, early intervention, small group or individual support.
Some students with more complex and enduring needs may require specific methodologies, teaching approaches and/or learning activities. Such interventions should be based on careful identification of strengths and needs, including multi-disciplinary assessment, when necessary.

Special education teachers, in consultation with subject teachers, should plan their interventions carefully to address students’ priority learning needs and to achieve the targets identified in the relevant Student Support Plan. Short-term planning should reflect the support plan targets and should break down the development of skills and content into small incremental steps to address each student’s specific needs. Outcomes for students should be routinely assessed, recorded and used to review progress. These outcomes should also be used to inform the targets for the next phase of intervention. Useful resources include:

Guidelines for Teachers of Students with General Learning Disabilities (link being updated)

Junior Certificate Schools Programme (link being updated)

Inclusion of Students with Special Educational Needs: Post-Primary Guidelines (DES, 2007)

Level 2 Learning Programmes: Guidelines for Teachers (link being updated)

NCCA Assessment: Toolkit at Junior Cycle (link being updated)