It is every students’ civil rights to be taught in a way that works for them and in many cases plays to their visual neurodivergent strengths. Every primary school could have a Neurodivergent School Coach, who champions appropriate teaching and learning for neurodivergent students.
Here is a pre-lockdown recording when 5 Empowering Learning Practitioners shared their experiences of being a Neurodivergent School Coach, using Empowering Learning Techniques.
Why do you need a NSC? Teachers are experts in teaching, neurodivergent school coaches are experts in how neurodivergent children learn and how they can best access lessons. Our understanding of neurodiversity is gathering pace and it is impossible for teachers to keep up, whilst dealing with the pressures of a school day. This is particularly true for primary schools, where missing appropriate techniques at this age has a lifelong effect on every individual. This role is in addition to the SENCO role, that is largely focused on implementing government processes, procedures, assessments, etc..
Each school could benefit from a NSC (full-time or part time) who is a coach with expertise in how these students learn. Their role will be to teach children, parents and teachers the same skills for continuity in and out of school. They will run specific projects in the school to, meet the current needs, for example:
- Identify and explore their strengths and ensuring staff can teach to these strengths
- Teach visual learning skills to individual students and ensure nursery, reception and year 1 have the basics of:
- Calmness with good breathing (can be incorporated in any mindfulness practices
- Controlled mental images with grounding
- Good left brain / right brain coordination
- Using mental imagery for literacy, numeracy
- Assist teachers and parents to congratulate any successes and take a forensic view on behavioural challenges, checking out what is behind the behavior and so much more
- Learn from students and develop child-centered support for children in their reality, through the “right” questions.
- Teach simple skills to students to, for example, reduce anxiety, increase confidence and develop a growth mindset.
- Create student mentors.
- Call out students getting things right. “A student who is appreciated will always do more than expected”.
Who can do this? The NSC will have a real thirst for continually learning and implementing new skills, that fit every child, with an open mind, remembering that every child may think and learn differently.
Making neurodiversity teaching and learning a CPD priority will achieve the following:
- Students understanding how they best think and learn and the factors that affect them
- Students understanding how they can reduce their own anxiety
- Reduced SEN costs
- Better educated children
- More independent learners
- Improve mental health issues that so often result from learning differences.
- Greater confidence in all aspects of school work.
- A legacy in school for future years, that is self-generating amongst students.
This is part 4 of a series entitled Changing Dyslexia for a New Decade. You can find details here: https://olivehickmott.wordpress.com/practitioner-training/
If you want to learn more about how a Neurodivergent School Coach could help you and your students, please contact Olive Hickmott; I would be pleased to support you in any way I can.
You are welcome to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
Please register here to follow my blog at http://www.olivehickmott.co.uk
You will find other useful informationat http://www.empoweringlearning.co.uk
Here is my YouTube channel for more free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/OliveHickmott
My latest books are:
The Elephants in the Classroom: using every student’s natural power of mental Imagery to enhance learning: Neurodiversity through the lens of mental Imagery.
Bridges to Success – How to transform Learning Difficulties
#neurodivergent #neurodivergentschoolcoach #SEN #mentalimagery #dyslexia