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What a Shadow teacher should know ?


What a Shadow teacher should know ?

Hi , today’s blog would be a relief to many parents and professionals

Why I say so ?

This is because , we all have faced a situation to find or approached to look for an effective shadow teacher for our child having diverse and additional needs by the school

We might also come across challenges in that journey to find a shadow teacher and if we found one , we are not convinced or confident of their skills

A shadow teacher is not separate profession , it is usually performed by a special educator. Now days , budding psychologists and professionals in the special world are also interested to take up this important role . Sometimes parents are also looking forward to become a shadow teacher for their child to maximise their potential.

Well every nation , country have different set of rules , laws set on job role of special educators , and so this definitely affect the responsibility and need of shadow teachers

In our own country , situations and circumstances are very different about shadow teachers in North India when compared to  South India.

Now lets come to the point what a shadow teacher should know when they are working with a child with special needs in a mainstream school scenario

This implies to any profession , be it special educator , psychologists , freshly passed out professionals seeking job opportunity in the special needs world or a parent themselves

If they are not aware of any of the important skills mentioned in this blog , they must try taking trainings , attend professional development programmes to improve and build up these skills

Please remember – shadow teacher is an important responsibility and not just any temporary professional engagement. A child relues on his/her shadow teacher for their performance

So what a shadow teacher should know ?

  1. What is behaviour , what are different types of behaviour , ABC chart , and Strategies to management , regulate and replace challenging behaviours  
  2. Role and responsibility towards school , parents and child
  3. Must be aware of learning style of the child i.e  tactile , visual , kinaesthetic or auditory or reading
  4. Must be aware of sensory processing and sensory integration
  5. Must be aware about what is an IEP and Behavior Management Plans
  6. Must know the difference between a PT , OT , psychologist , speech pathologist and special educator , prosthetics and paediatricians
  7. Must have good idea about developmental milestones –  cognitive , social , emotional , gross motor , fine motor , language
  8. Must have good and optimal knowledge and understanding of Autism , ADHD , LDs and Neuromuscular disorders
  9. Must be well affluent about visual supports , AACs , assistive devices , transitions and life skills, social stories and scripts and Podds
  10. Must be flexible to endure unavoidable circumstances at school or in classroom e.g sudden change in time table for the child  
  11. Must have fair idea about differential instructions to an autistic child /adhd child /child with dyslexia or dysgraphia
  12. Must be spontaneous and witty
  13. Must share and give feedback
  14. Should have good oral and written communication skills
  15. Most important should be calm and patient and have a big heart

My blog intends to create awareness in parents about what to look for when they appoint or search a shadow teacher

I hope this is helpful and an eye opener, You can keep this blog handy with you when you look for a shadow teacher for your child from now on

I know it’s not easy to get a shadow teacher for your child. I understand you

But above all keep in your mind , you have to be or you to find an effective shadow teacher for your child and not a good shadow teacher

All the best parents . Keep up good work


Creative Efforts and Former shadow teacher – Heena Sahi

Artwork by Dhairya Pal

The creative representation for my write up on shadow teachers is done beautifully by our newly incorporated CreativeSaathi associate Dhairya Pal. His artwork depicts the mother-son bond between a mother elephant and a baby elephant. What else do we parents expect from the shadow teachers that they take care of their child in a way that a mother does.

Thank you Dhairya!