5 Ways A Tutor Can Help Students Who Have Exceptionalities
Students who have special needs are also referred to as students who have exceptionalities. This term covers a broad spectrum of intellectual, physical and behavioural needs. Academically gifted students and students learning English as an additional language also fall into this category.
One thing that links these diverse students is the fact they may require specific teaching methods and/or modified learning materials to level the educational playing field. In recent years, there has been a much greater awareness of the importance of meeting the needs of exceptional students in mainstream classrooms. A tutor can also be very beneficial in helping these students reach their full potential.
Here are 5 ways a tutor can help students who have exceptionalities.
Unlike classroom teachers who must meet a wide range of needs and learning styles, a tutor is able to focus exclusively on the needs of one child. This can be very beneficial for students who have exceptionalities.
A tutor will create a learning plan to address a student’s specific needs, allowing them to learn in a way which is best suited to them. Students learn at their own pace in a one-to-one learning environment that is tailored to their unique strengths and needs.
Many exceptional students, including those who are gifted, benefit from stretching their learning and challenging their minds. While their classroom teacher has to stick to the curriculum, a tutor has the freedom to tap into a child’s interests and skills to provide opportunities to learn more than what the curriculum dictates and further facilitate a love of learning.
A tutor can then combine these interests and enriched learning with the skills and concepts the student needs support with, such as having them write a paper about how a star is formed to practice research and essay writing or giving a presentation on a historical event to practice public speaking.
Tutoring involves a lot of discussion and questioning. Learning to communicate with a tutor allows students to learn to self-advocate when they need support or are confused and to further their understanding by asking questions in a positive environment The tutor-student relationship that develops is very enriching and helps shy students come out of their shell and helps all students to develop the essential life skill of communication.
Improved Executive Functioning Skills
Many exceptionalities impact students’ executive functioning skills, like organisation, time management, and prioritisation, making it more challenging to keep on top of homework and other responsibilities. These skills are essential to becoming a productive adult and certain disabilities and disorders, like ADHD, can cause students to struggle, more than their peers, to develop them. As executive functioning skills aren’t explicitly taught in school, students who have exceptionalities that impact these skills often don’t get the support they need.
A tutor can work to build a student’s executive functioning skills, either alone or in conjunction with subject support, and help them to practice tailored strategies for staying organised and up to date on assignments.
One of the greatest rewards of working with a tutor for any student is increased confidence. Many students have low self-esteem because they’ve struggled in class and feel they just aren’t smart enough.
A tutor’s role is to help students identify their strengths and build on their skills to help them see they have what it takes to be successful. All of the benefits discussed above help students to recognise they are smart, valuable, and have an important contribution to make to the world.
There are many benefits to working with a tutor for students with exceptionalities.