Last week I assessed a SENs learner who could only understand 4 out of 5 tasks which were beyond his level of understanding and, to grasp them all at once, seemed too much. He seemed discouraged and would look away rather than answer my questions. I learnt it is important that learning is a good experience (some students can lose their motivation) (Wallace, 2004, p. 95) and also having strategies to adapt lessons (Bolton, 2001, p. 49) as part of a contingency plan.

I realised the importance of pace when differentiating, after initial assessment is done and when setting new tasks one there should not be too many at once.   Learners should feel they can achieve and learn.

Assessing the level of individual understanding by a teacher is not easy task particularly when individual needs of learners and their individual pace of learning is not so clear with new learners to the class.   Making good use of teaching assistants who work closely with individual learners can provide an effective way of teaching particularly when planning, facilitating, assessing and evaluating learners.

I felt it was not my place to approach the new teacher in charge since the student is new to her class and I was only acting as a supply assistant to various classes. Thus, writing a brief sentence about the student’s performance, I felt, was sufficient information to the teacher. I also adapted my teaching/assessing strategy to encourage the learner to participate and engage in communication asking him what the pictures meant to him.

In future, I would wait for students to take more ownership of their learning tasks and performance rather than assuming they know or understand more than they actually do.   In order to assess students in a fair and efficient way, I feel it would take me some time to gain more experience before I develop a new approach and work on identifying appropriate SMART tasks when thinking about teaching, planning and assessing...