Rating Subject Content Knowledge to Improve Teaching

I’ll rate myself a 7 for learning support skills content and a 6 for a general knowledge of the main content areas. As a Special Education teacher in a Learning Support classroom, I need to have a well-rounded knowledge of many different content areas. In addition to a general knowledge of various general education subjects, I have a knowledge of the study skills and classroom behavior that are required for my students to find success.

I often teach my students more supportive skills, like study strategies and test taking strategies than I do any specific content instruction. Because I often share time between many different subjects, I gave myself a lower ranking. I’m familiar with general concepts but don’t possess some content area’s more specific knowledge and skills.

There are several examples of how my knowledge of Learning Support content and General Education content help to facilitate student learning. First, my students frequently come to my classroom feeling apprehensive about upcoming exams. I help them practice test-taking skills to ease stress and improve their performance.

Second, students in my Learning Support classroom use time with me to get a head start on homework. Their environments outside of school are often not supportive places to study. For this reason I’m often helping students with Math or Science worksheets and problem sets. I need to stay in practice with skills like this in order to show students how to solve these problems.

Third, I work with my students on time management skills for long-term projects. I show them how to break large tasks into smaller parts and motivate them to stay focused. This requires me to have a good knowledge of the assessments and usually the content they haven’t yet been taught.

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