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is a new English teacher in a boys' secondary school.  In one of his classes he has two boys who have SLD (dyslexia).  A classroom assistant has been allocated to them (Mary) and she started in the school just six weeks before the summer break.  On the first day of term Mary arrives wearing what can only be described as rather revealing clothes.  The boys are rather more interested in Mary than in learning about writing essays.  David says nothing. 

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Next day Mary arrives again wearing similar clothes.  David wants the boys to attempt to write some poetry of their own.  He asks Mary to help generally with the boys' writing but is horrified when he sees Mary bending over to check the writing taking the boys' minds off their work.  There is very little work writing going on at the desks nearby but a lot of whispering!  How should David approach what is a sensitive but important classroom management issue? 

Study Points

This is a comment by a Classroom Assistant. "I'm going to Mrs A's room next term, worst luck.  She's never worked with anyone before and chose not to take part in the team teaching last term.  It's a pity the children who need help are in her  class.  I hope it'll be all right."  Think about all the potential problems and make a list of ground rules for a) the assistant b)Mrs A c) the children.

Discussion Area

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Margaret has been in the school for 20 years.  When she started children with special needs were uncommon in the school and little was expected of them.  Now there are several children in the class and each child is expected to achieve his/her potential and to be independent wherever possible.  However, when children are given work Margaret's idea of helping them is to do it for them, e.g. given four sentences to order and stick down, Margaret numbers the parts for the children.  After P.E. she takes off Calum's slippers and puts on his  shoes even though heis 8 and has problems other than a speech disorder.  If the teacher tells him to do it himself, Margaret will say that it is quicker if she does it.  Because the children in this class have speech and language problems, they are encouraged to collaborate and discuss work.  Margaret frequently can be found telling them to be quiet and get on with their work.


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