A shadow teacher can also be referred to as a skilled educator who works alongside the teacher in the classroom to provide academic, social, behavioral, and emotional support to students with learning differences.
What are the key ingredients for successful shadow?
The role of the shadow teacher in the classroom is to help his/her student:
- stay focused;
- participate appropriately in class;
- notify the teacher if he does not understand the material;
- function in an environment where there are many distractions;
- be positive in his/her approach to new tasks;
- and helping him/her to gain self control.
- improve communication by maintaining eye contact;
- encouraging him/her to ask for help from his/her teachers;
- having him/her share special interests with the children;
- helping him/her to respond appropriately to his/her classmates in social situations;
- seeing that he/she compliments his peers when appropriate;
- prompting him/her to initiate discussions with his/her peers;
- encouraging him/her to learn the interests of his/her classmates.
Every child is unique; therefore, the approach and teaching methods and techniques used by each shadow teacher with each specific student will differ.
What is a Shadow Teacher?
By definition, a shadow teacher is an educational assistant who works directly with a single child with special needs during his/her early school years. These assistants understand a variety of learning disabilities and how to support them accordingly. Providing a shadow teacher allows the child to attend a mainstream class while receiving the extra attention that he/she needs. Shadow teachers are often referred to as paraprofessionals, student aides, teacher aides, and even student tutors.
Shadow teaching is a progressive form of assistance that acts as a resource for the school and the parent. Communication and collaboration between the shadow teacher, the classroom teacher, and the parents are essential when striving for success. Meaningful relationships must be established to meet the needs of the child best. The shadow teacher helps provide the student with continuity in their classes, instills responsibility, fosters independence, and encourages learning.
The student benefits from the shadow teacher because ….
- the student follows regular classroom instruction and interaction with his/her peers.
- the student learns to build on his/her strengths and not his/her weaknesses.
- the student receives educational enrichment.
The role of a shadow teacher is to support the student at school by helping fill in the gaps in the learning process, to help the student build self-confidence, as well as to promote positive interaction in the classroom by helping the student focus on important concepts, and overall help the student to develop academic and social skills. Every child is unique; therefore, each shadow teacher’s approach and teaching methods and techniques are designed based on the needs of the individual student.