Teacher Preparation

Written by Tara Peris
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Teacher preparation should focus not only on procuring materials for mainstream students, but on preparing instructors to meet the needs of students with disabilities. From physical handicaps to learning disabilities and emotional problems, there are a number of student difficulties one can expect to find in the average classroom these days. Proper preparation ensures that all students receive the education they deserve.

During the 1970s, legislation was passed ensuring all children the right to what is labeled the "least restrictive learning environment." This is basically fancy wording for a law encouraging children to remain in mainstream classrooms whenever possible. The legislation basically requires schools to pay for accommodations that would allow children with special needs to be educated alongside their typical peers.

Teacher Preparation for Students with Special Needs

This legislation has helped millions of children to receive the education they deserve. From students with physical handicaps to children with autism or severe learning disabilities, the law ensures that students are allowed whatever accommodations they need to succeed. Although clearly beneficial for children, this law presents a challenge to many teachers and school administrators.

Specifically, teacher preparation classes rarely address the needs of children with disabilities or emotional problems. Thus, it is often up to teachers to educate themselves about the needs of their students. Although certainly taxing, this self-guided endeavor is the only way to ensure that teachers enter the classroom prepared to cater to the needs of all of their students. Online training is a fast and easy way for teachers to earn certifications or refresh their skills.

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