When is SEN not SEN

So when is a Special Education need Not a Special Education Need? It seems that this isn’t something sensible like when it’s miss diagnosed or when there’s no evidence of a diagnosable problem…

no that would be to sensible…

SEN is not SEN when your a student teacher….

Anyone who’s ever been to school or college understands that students with Special Education needs… need additional help/time to do assignments or exams because their learning disability makes doing assignments more difficult than for a person with out SEN.

Student teachers however are expected to differentiate for their SEN students so they must be able to do it for themselves…

this is the premise they use to continue the discrimination of students teachers with a learning disability…

I am a teacher with two chronic health conditions and SEN, I have dyslexia and dyspraxia, I have a degree in Ceramics, a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, a level 5 TDL, Teaching Disabled learners and I have been teaching for over a decade.

So I’m obviously able to write an essay I use a computer to help with my spelling and I can organise my self after a fashion…but there is something I can’t do no matter how I try, I can’t make time…

I know surely by now I’ve learnt to bend time to my will… unfortunately no… I can’t make time…

Which means I still need extra time to read, process and understand information before I can write about it… reading is difficult because i find it difficult to take in the information I am being asked to absorb, I often have to read something over and over again before it goes in. This is tiring and frustrating, and takes more time than an unimpaired person.

So why when I reach a certain level of academic achievement am I also expected to have mastered the art of bending or manipulating time, so I can have more time to study… it seems ludicrous to me to expect me to be able to reasonably adjust time to make my study on an equal level with someone who can read effectively, or organise their thoughts efficiently.

I am put at a disadvantage to my peers because it will be harder and take me longer to achieve the same level of study as them. When a few simple differentiated adjustments could close that gap. Adjustments that are done as a matter of course on any other course.

We are not talking about making the work easier or expecting less from a student, we are talking about providing extra time to study, and making sure frameworks and course materials are available at the beginning of term not at the end of term, a couple of weeks before the assignments due.

But this all ties in to the appalling track record of the Disabled Student Allowance and Finance England who have made it so hard to get help and drag their heels so much in supplying equipment and materials that some students have finished their courses before it becomes available. Or it comes so late in the course it’s little help and often a hindrance… having no time to do the tec training to learn how to use assistive technology because you’ve an assignment due that you needed the tec for…

Don’t get me wrong I’m eternally grateful for the assistance I’ve received but two years after my last course, I still can’t use the voice to text software because I never had the training to teach me how, because it came at the end of my course…

there are lots of things wrong with the DSA system but I’m grateful that it still exists…

As for my tutors differentiating their teaching to help me, which costs nothing and is simple to achieve, I’m thinking of starting a petition to urge the teaching staff at my local teaching college to stop discriminating against student teachers with SEN…

Has anyone else had this problem or this isolated to my teaching school? Let me know about your experiences…

That’s all for now Friends in solidarity… Dxxx

#teacherswithSEN #equality #discrimination #studentteachers #teaching

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