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How to Connect with Special Education Students After Education Assistant Training

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Within any classroom there is a diversity of learning styles, a range of needs, and various challenges. Education assistants, who work with special education students, or students who have behaviour management needs, take on the responsibility of adapting environments for their students. One of the most important aspects to succeeding in a classroom is establishing genuine connections.

In order to help students reach their full potential, it is necessary to get to know them well. Being able to recognize students’ strengths will provide you with more options for helping to keep them engaged and excited.

Here are a few points to keep in mind as you navigate your role in students’ educational experiences.

If You Believe in Their Success, They Will Too

It may be the case that students you assist will have the idea, whether consciously or not, that success at school is not possible for them. Traditional markers of academic success may cause special education students to feel inadequate, insecure, or as if no one expects much from them. Part of education assistant training involves in-school experience, where you may even witness these feelings first-hand. Fortunately, as an education assistant, you’ll be well equipped to help students realize just how much potential they have, and help them see that they really do have so much to offer.

Education assistants enter a classroom looking for students’ strengths

Education assistants enter a classroom looking for students’ strengths

One strategy that can be used to address negative feelings is positive reinforcement. For example, you want to make sure your students know when they do well and provide more learning experiences that foster those successes. If you notice that a student loves to draw, give them a chance to visually respond to a lesson. This validates their learning style and recognizes neurodiversity as a strength of differences rather than a deficit. Figuring this out for students may mean reflecting on your positive experiences in educational assistant classes because being able to recognize where you felt success will help you see it in others as well.

Provide a Culturally Sensitive Environment

Another aspect of knowing your student and nurturing their potential is recognizing their life experiences outside of the classroom. Acknowledging their cultural background, languages they may speak at home, and what their lives are like is just as important as being familiar with their cognitive and physical abilities.

Consider ways to adjust lesson plans or activities to reflect your familiarity and respect for who your students are. This may also extend to their general interests. For example if they love music, consider incorporating songs or lyrics into activities.

Become an Education Assistant Known for Their Creativity

Paying attention to what excites students will give you ideas for ways to keep them engaged in the classroom. The myriad of differences you may experience when you become an education assistant will quickly add up. One practical strategy that will leave space for your creativity to flourish is to record individual preferences, needs, and strengths of your students.

Educational assistants’ creativity will spark confidence in their students

Educational assistants’ creativity will spark confidence in their students

Once you have a clear idea of who your students are, the ways to connect with them will become easier to grasp and organize. For example, a student may respond well to routine. Knowing this, you might set up a daily prompt for them to express their feelings each afternoon. Something like that would help you create an environment where students feel comfortable and able to thrive.

Are you interested in pursuing a career as an education assistant?

Learn more about the educational assistant training available at KLC!

3 Interview Questions to Expect if You Want to Become an Educational Assistant

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Are you a caring, patient, and positive individual who enjoys working with children? Do you have good communication and organizational skills? And more importantly, do you want to make a difference in a workplace that is fulfilling? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then a career as an educational assistant might be right for you.

Once you complete your training as an educational assistant and begin looking for a position, you will interview with administrators and hiring personnel from different schools and institutions. Hiring managers usually look for specific qualities in the candidates that they select. Check out the kind of questions to expect and how you can prepare for your next interview!

1. Why Did You Choose to Become an Educational Assistant?

One thing that interviewers will almost certainly want to know is what your motives are. A good way to prepare to answer a question like this is to ask yourself how your motivations align with what are likely to be the school’s goals (which will hopefully be to provide a high quality education). For example, you may believe children should have people around them who are truly dedicated to helping them reach their full potential. Or maybe you decided to become an educational assistant because you believe that a strong education system is central to the development of a well prepared generation of students. Whatever your beliefs may be, it is important that you are able to communicate them clearly and genuinely.

2. How Will You Contribute to Life in The Classroom as an Educational Assistant?

The role of an educational assistant is to provide the teacher with the support they require to make sure that the classroom is the best learning environment that it can be. Essentially, the educational assistant becomes an extension of the teacher, allowing for more individual support to be provided to each student.

The educational assistant helps provide children with more individual support

The educational assistant helps provide children with more individual support

So, if you should be asked about the ways that you can contribute to life in the classroom after education assistant training, you can explain that your responsibility will be to ensure that each child is treated as an individual and receives the attention that they need. You can also address the fact that you will be responsible for helping the teacher maintain a positive learning climate in their classroom. You must be sure that you are aware of what contributions you can make to create an optimal learning environment, which you can learn about in your education assistant courses.

3. What Would You Do if You Disagreed with a Teacher’s Methods?

Some interview questions might be more difficult. This is one that might catch you off-guard and for which you should be prepared. It is only normal that throughout the course of your career, you’ll occasionally disagree with a teacher. If that should happen, there are positive and constructive ways that you can deal with the situation. One thing that you should always keep in mind is that you must respect the teacher’s authority and experience. Another thing that you will want to remember is that most teachers are also life-long learners. So, you can tell the hiring manager how you would respectfully explain your point of view to the teacher. By doing so in a polite matter you might be able to learn from one another and offer students the best quality of education that you can.

You may be asked how you would handle disagreements with a teacher

You may be asked how you would handle disagreements with a teacher

Do you want to learn the job through educational assistant classes?

Call KLC College and get more information about our programs!

How to Stay Calm at Work After Education Assistant Training

educational assistant courseWhen you work with children as an education assistant, your days are never boring. Children, of course, can experience a wide range of emotions and they’re often not afraid to express them. As an education assistant, you’ll need to learn how to keep calm even when you may be surrounded by children who are anything but.

Stay calm and collected is not only good for your own mental health, but it also helps the children you work with understand the value of positivity. There are a number of strategies you can use to make sure the day goes smoothly. Here are some ways you can stay calm on the job after becoming an education assistant.

Get to Work Early, and Take Deep Breaths Before Class Starts

The period when you arrive at work but the school day hasn’t yet begun is ideal for finding a moment to practice some strategies and exercises for keeping calm. For example, you can sit down at a desk or other comfortable spot and perform breathing exercises, perhaps while listening to calming music. You can even practice mindfulness or meditation to help you stay calm and positive. However you choose to relax, do something at the beginning of the day so that you feel better prepared for whatever challenges may arise later on. That way you can approach the rest of the day with a sense of calmness and focus.

Be sure to take deep breaths before class, and practice meditation or mindfulness

Be sure to take deep breaths before class, and practice meditation or mindfulness

To Become an Educational Assistant, Have a Plan of Action with Students

If you love working with children, you’ll understand that every child is different and has their own distinct behavioural traits, learning styles, and challenges. In fact, taking an individualistic approach to each child is something you’ll learn the importance of in your training to become an educational assistant. Therefore, if for any reason students are disruptive or act out, make sure you work with the teacher to have a plan for how you’re going to manage the situation, and subscribe to it from that point onward. By planning beforehand you will feel like you’re in control of the situation when students do become emotional or disruptive.

Stay Positive Around Children and They’ll Stay Positive in Turn

In your education assistant training, you’ll learn how to use your communication skills effectively with children and how best to meet their individual needs. Speak in a friendly, relaxed tone at all times with students, and encourage them to succeed. Remaining positive tends to rub off on children and can be a subtle way of encouraging them to stay positive too. If they don’t immediately respond in kind to your calm demeanour, try not to become angry or emotional. Simply stay positive and talk to the children in a calm and soothing voice. By maintaining a positive attitude, eventually your rapport with the children will improve. Keep with your plan to remain measured at all times, and remember that this can sometimes be a marathon, not a race.

Staying positive around children can improve your rapport with them

Staying positive around children can improve your rapport with them

Do you want to take an educational assistant course?

Contact KLC College to find out more!

Interested in Education Assistant Training? Here’s What You Should Know About Positive Behaviour Supports

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Education assistants support teachers in the classroom by understanding students’ behavioural characteristics, assisting in developing individualized student programs, and much more. To help them accomplish important tasks like these, education assistants help carry out behavioural interventions for students who exhibit problem behaviours or who are struggling academically.

One type of behavioural intervention that’s frequently used in schools is called positive behaviour support (PBS), which is designed to promote good behaviour in students. Because PBS is so widespread in education, it is important for education assistants to understand the theory behind it and how it is applied in the classroom.

Positive Behaviour Support Helps Encourage Good Behaviour in Children

PBS is a type of behaviour management system that is widely used by schools as a way of reducing problem behaviour and encouraging good behaviour in students. According to non-profit research organization Child Trends, problem behaviour can include externalized behaviours like “aggression, disruptive behaviour, and oppositional defiance” and internalized behaviours like “withdrawal, anxiety, or depression.” PBS is based on the assumption that problem behaviour occurs because something in the student’s environment rewards or encourages such behaviour. PBS focuses on identifying the root cause of problem behaviour and developing a plan to discourage it while also encouraging alternative, positive behaviours.

Schools utilize PBS using a three-tiered model: at the primary level the focus is on school-wide interventions, such as encouraging all students to walk rather than run in the hallways. The secondary level focuses on groups of students who are at risk of behavioural problems and who require short-term interventions. Lastly, the tertiary level focuses on interventions for individuals who have a persistent pattern of behavioural problems and require individualized attention. Tertiary level PBS typically applies to just 1-5% of the student body for whom primary and secondary level interventions are ineffective. For students who require tertiary intervention, an individualized behaviour plan is developed and implemented.

Tertiary level PBS focuses on individualized behavioural intervention strategies

Tertiary level PBS focuses on individualized behavioural intervention strategies

Educational Assistants with PBS Training Work to Identify the Root Causes of Problem Behaviour

If a child exhibits problem behaviour, PBS encourages first identifying if that student is being inadvertently rewarded for behaving badly. For example, many young children act out because they know that they will get attention by doing so. As a result, yelling at a child who is exhibiting such behaviour actually ends up rewarding them since the “punishment” draws more attention.

By utilizing the PBS strategies you learn during education assistant training, you can identify why a child is behaving poorly and what the best response to the behaviour may be. While PBS does allow for consequences for problem behaviour, such as through requiring the student to complete unfinished homework during recess, such consequences are not the final goal. Rather, PBS is focused on replacing problem behaviours with positive behaviours.

Education Assistant Training Will Show You How PBS is Applied in Schools

If you become an education assistant you will not only learn about PBS during the theory component of your training, you will also see it put into action during your career. That’s because PBS is used in most schools in one form or another. For instance, receiving a sticker or gold star for doing well on an assignment is an example of a primary level intervention that is applied at many schools.

In your education assistant career, you can also use PBS to replace problem behaviours with positive ones in individual students. For example, if a child is looking for attention, you may want to speak quietly to that child and calmly explain why their behaviour is inappropriate. Talking calmly removes the reward (i.e., getting more attention) that the child is seeking. With the reward removed, you can then ask them to complete the assignment. When the student completes the assignment, he or she can then be rewarded for doing so by being praised in front of the class. Praise satisfies the child’s desire for attention, but in a way that encourages him or her to seek that attention through positive behaviours.

At KLC College, our education assistant courses cover positive behaviour support

At KLC College, our education assistant courses cover positive behaviour support

Are you interested in pursuing a new career?

Contact KLC College to learn more about our education assistant school.

An Educational Assistant Course Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Young children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) require special attention in the classroom. To ensure these children get the help they need, it is vital that all newly trained education assistants are given a comprehensive grounding in the best practices for teaching autistic students.

ASD is commonly diagnosed between the ages of two and three years old, affecting one out of every 66 children in Canada. It is much more common in boys than girls, but the severity of the disorder can differ greatly from person to person. Around one third of people with ASD also develop an intellectual disability, so a dedicated skillset is needed to maximize the potential of these children in the classroom.

Read on for some useful insights on ASD that can help the next generation of education assistants to really make a difference in the lives of this often overlooked and underestimated demographic.

Autism can be Caused by Genetic and Non-Genetic Factors

ASD is an umbrella term that includes autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger’s Syndrome. These disorders are categorized across the spectrum, and some present milder symptoms than others.

There is no one root cause of autism, and it is believed to stem from both genetic and non-genetic factors. It takes effect during early brain development by altering how neurons communicate. Parents who have children later in life and extreme premature birth are considered risk factors for the onset of ASD.

The symptoms of ASD include difficulty developing social and communication skills. These boys and girls may avoid making eye contact, repeat words or phrases, and feel more comfortable on their own. Graduates of an education assistant training course will be notified when a child with autism is attending their workplace, because they will require specialized attention in the classroom.

Help children with autism to meet their potential as an education assistant

Help children with autism to meet their potential as an education assistant

Individual Support for ASD Students after Education Assistant Training

Children with ASD may not understand and follow instructions as easily as others, and it is often a good idea to write them out so they can have them at all times. You may also have to address them individually if you are failing to grab their attention, because they may otherwise think they’re not being spoken to. You should also keep language simple when speaking to children with ASD, and avoid using any jargon or sarcasm that they might find confusing.

Technology is a particularly worthwhile asset in this scenario, too. Children can experience difficulties with handwriting, so assess whether it’s possible for them to complete schoolwork on a laptop or tablet instead. Children with ASD may also work better if they are sometimes given a quiet space to finish their assignments.

Consider using a tablet to help children with autism in the classroom

Consider using a tablet to help children with autism in the classroom

Additionally, many young learners on the autism spectrum will often display more interest in specific topics than others, or be far more adept at certain subjects, such as mathematics or science, than they are in other areas. Tailor your teaching to their strengths and weaknesses, and try and find out what their interests are and see if it is possible to work them into their lessons. Overcoming these educational challenges and seeing the child thrive provides a sense of immense satisfaction for professionals, the child, and their parents.

How to Improve the Social Behaviour of Young People with ASD

Another common symptom of children with ASD is an inability to understand the feelings of others. This presents additional challenges for students in education assistant training, so be aware that you also have an important role in developing the social skills of these boys and girls.

This could mean reiterating to them the importance of staying in line in the canteen queue or staying quiet while other children are talking. Children on the spectrum can often feel uneasy in large crowds or noisy environments, too, and may require additional attention in the schoolyard or when walking to and from classes in busy corridors.

KLC’s educational assistant course focuses on developing the necessary ASD teaching skills.

Find out more about our comprehensive 37-week program.

Helping Teachers in the Classroom After Education Assistant Training

 

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Working in education can be overwhelming at times, and teachers often find that they could use an extra hand in the classroom. Fortunately, they can rely upon the help of an education assistant, who plays a vital support role for both students and the lead teacher.

Here are some tips on how students in education assistant courses can ensure a productive classroom once they begin their careers.

Utilize Lessons From Your Educational Assistant Course

The main duty of an education assistant is to collaborate with the teacher to provide an effective learning environment for students. In order to do that, graduates can build upon their education assistant training by focusing on child development, communication, and behavioural support.

Child development is an essential cornerstone in education. When students come to class, they are learning and developing new ideas and concepts, and it’s important to make sure they progress with comfort and confidence. Helping a student with one-on-one lessons or in a small group reinforces the material their teacher covers in class and provides a framework younger students can use to learn proper behaviour and reactions.

Communication is also a key aspect. When we communicate with each other, we are sharing our individual perspectives, and this is an important concept for children to understand. Many students see adults of any age as authority figures, and they take cues and behavioural patterns from the adults around them. An education assistant should keep this in mind, and communicate clearly and responsibly.

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Communication is key to a well-run classroom

Be Flexible, Intuitive, and Responsive

An educational workplace is an environment which changes every day. Students enrolled in an educational assistant course learn how best to adapt and respond to these changes, but certain skills should be kept in mind to improve classroom performance.

For instance, patience is a common attribute of successful teachers and educational assistants. Most students will not learn something immediately, and every student learns and grasps new concepts differently. For assistants interested in special education, patience is an especially important skill, because some children require more attention and may have a more difficult time learning new material, and the teacher may need more support to address each student adequately.

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Skills such as patience and flexibility allow education assistants to help both teachers and students

Additionally, a good sense of intuition can help cut down on miscommunication and delays in the classroom. Teachers have an easier time managing their classes if they can rely on assistants to understand their duties and act rather than constantly needing instruction. By being flexible and patient with their daily tasks, as well as responding to situations and opportunities as they arise, assistants make sure the teacher and students can focus on the lessons at hand.

Foster a Professional Relationship With the Teacher

In order for students to feel comfortable in the classroom, there should be a professional working relationship between the teacher and educational assistant. Part of the educational assistant’s role is to help a teacher with their lesson plan, prepare materials, and ensure the classroom is set up to meet each day’s needs and demands.

By being clear and communicative with the teachers they are working with, assistants can clarify the expectations and context of their role in the classroom, which allows for more support and attention to be provided to the students.

Interested in becoming an educational assistant?

Contact KLC College for more information!

Character Traits That Make You Perfect for Education Assistant Training

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Education is a wonderful line of work which attracts compassionate, organized and friendly staff. It’s sometimes quite a demanding career, but it’s all worth it when you help children to achieve their potential. It’s even more rewarding when you work with children with special educational needs, a challenge which requires a dedicated skillset developed during education assistant courses.

There are a lot of transferrable skills and traits that can be carried over into this career, but first and foremost workers should be comfortable and excited about working with children, especially at an early age. During this crucial stage of their development, education assistants are excellent mentors who get their school years off to a great start.

Here are four ways of knowing whether or not you are suited to this career.

Education Assistants Communicate Effectively with Students and Co-workers

Children learn lots of new information every day, and strong communication skills allow educators to get their message across effectively. Students in education assistant training are comfortable speaking to people of all ages, and also listen carefully to questions or remarks from students or colleagues. Not all people retain these skills, so you can excel in this career if you are a ‘people person’.

Education assistants are part of a much wider team in schools which aim to ensure that students develop their knowledge and personal skills. Effective communication is also vital within this team, so that all educators can work together to overcome potential problems.

Embrace working with children in this educational career

Embrace working with children in this educational career

Take New Tasks in your Stride in this Exciting Career

Working with children can throw up lots of challenges every day, and education assistants must adapt quickly to resolve them. It’s difficult to follow a firm daily schedule of work, and flexibility is required to juggle each task.

This is therefore a career which suits comfortable multi-taskers, whether that means working with more than one child at a time or trying to get some paperwork done during the day. Some people are easily able to switch their focus from one task to another, and if that sounds like you, this could be the perfect career choice.

Show Patience and Compassion When Working with Children

Children are a joy to be around. Their enthusiasm and laughter are infectious and it’s heartwarming when you receive their gratitude. This makes working in education a career which suits friendly and compassionate individuals. It does, of course, throw up many challenges, but this can be overcome by patiently dealing with whatever issues children may experience.

Compassionate individuals are also particularly well-suited to a workplace in which students have special educational needs. These children have the same thirst for knowledge as others, and educational assistant course graduates are enthusiastic about helping them to achieve great results.

Nothing beats the smile on a child’s face after they’ve learned a new skill

Nothing beats the smile on a child’s face after they’ve learned a new skill

Enjoy Hands-on Learning in an Education Assistant Training Course

Some people prefer working with facts and figures in academia or a desk job, but others are much more excited about learning and thriving in a vibrant workplace. Students can experience this exciting environment from a very early stage by enrolling in education assistant programs like the one offered by KLC College.

We offer 600 hours of practical experience during the course, so you can develop your skills in the best way possible. This is a career suited to somebody who embraces challenges and wants to immerse themselves in a new career immediately.

Does an education assistant training course sound like the best career move for you?

Find out more about KLC College’s comprehensive program.