Professional Development – SEN
Professional Development – SEN

Professional Development – SEN

Today I received a surprise reminder via Outlook. It was a reminder asking me to reflect on the SEN INSET day. A few seconds past and then an “oh, I remember,” acknowledgement followed. I set a reminder to see how effective the training had been and how well I had incorporated and embedded my notes into my practice.

I can not even remember the exact session title, I can tell you the focus – supporting SEN pupils.

Notes –

Notice the need and adjust for access – SEN Lead trainer

Dyspraxia – Poor spelling, sequencing, poor organisational demands and can become isolated.

ASD – do not always have fully integrated attention skills, maybe have slow processing time and therefore extended wait time, difficulty with abstract thinking, may have sequencing difficulty and find it challenging to prepare their responses logically. Could have good recognition, poor language comprehension. Use visual cues – to direct learning. Social Interactions. Non-lesson time can be worrying. May find starting a conversation a real worry. Knowing what not to say in group work very stressful.

Sensory Issues; Smells roulette toilets, aftershave. Sharp high pitch sounds – (bells). Food types (colours). Touch – very high / low pain thresholds. Flexibility. Need control. Special interest can lead to rigidity. Creative tasks present challenge. Clear triggers (high anger / anxiety.) Emotional thermometer. Set a specific amount of work, 5 sentences, exemplar. Cant get past detail. Or can’t categorise a detail. Set time limits or provide the big thinking and therefore the category the item belongs to.

Whilst I made a real effort to take notes, I am not sure what I did with them. Clearly, I have them here, they were attached to the reminder but I could not tell you where they are now or where the hand-outs are for that matter. Rather disappointingly, I can not offer an exact time or example where I referred to them. I can vaguely recollect the concept of an emotional thermometer and thought I might use that strategy. I have not.

On the Sunday, of that week, I also took notes from the #SLTChat that happened to be focused on effective CPD (as opposed to training) and favourite three tweets;

Lead and explain. Introduce everything by saying why and what difference we want it to make to the students #SLTchat – Jamie Barton ‏@barton_jw 

CPD – Don’t have a ‘show them how’ culture. It has to be ‘help them be’ system – J Townell (@MrTownell)

Good in-house CPD only sustainable if it works on 1 or 2 aspects of T&L – needs to be strategically chosen and stuck to all year #SLTchat – Bansi Kara (@benniekara)

First, I don’t think I did anything with that CPD either. As for considering the three suggestions…

I am pretty sure we knew difference we wanted to make for our pupils, I am not sure we really explained to our staff. We showed and lectured to them for much of the session, we didn’t “help them be” better teachers working with our SEN pupils. If I am honest, I this model of training will rarely “help a teacher be…” a better teacher. The training we classic “sheep-dip” training. In-out and forget about it as quickly as possible. Note to see – remind staff at the start of term 5. If notihing else reinforce –

Notice the need and adjust for access – SEN Lead trainer

With one last INSET event this year, it was worthwhile considering how effective (or ineffective) our CPD and training has been.



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